epa03555998 Li Na hits a forehand during the women's final between Li Na of China and Victoria Azarenka of Belarus at the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, 26 January 2013. EPA/Mast Irham |
Australian Open finalist Li Na won’t be celebrating World Tennis day on Monday after withdrawing injured from an exhibition in Hong Kong. China’s top player who has not competed since losing the Grand Slam final to Victoria Azarenka, will be replaced by Agnieszka Radwanska.
The Hong Kong exhibition featuring Caroline Wozniacki is one half of a program which also includes a similar event in New York, But with Rafael Nadal a big part of that show and his fragile knees a constant worry, there seem to be no guarantees about his presence either.
Nadal has made no pronouncement about his schedule after this week’s clay tournament in Acapulco, though New York officials are floating the idea that all is well with the Spaniard who they insist will take his place on court against Juan Del Potro.
In Hong Kong, one-time rivals Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe will also square off at a venue not far from the city’s island airport.
“It is very unfortunate that Na has to pull out of the event and I know no one is more disappointed than she is, but I am very pleased to be able to welcome Agnieszka to the line-up” said a statement from organizers. “The very painful injury Na incurred in the final of the Australian Open last month has not responded enough to intense treatment.”
Added Li, “I’m very sad to announce that I won’t be able to play in Hong Kong. Unfortunately, the ankle injury I had in the Australian Open final is still not ready for me to compete.”
Wozniacki has a 5-4 edge over Radwanska, who has won their last three matches, including earlier this month in the Doha quarter-finals.
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