Tennis - The Australian Open has been hit by another withdrawal - this time it's former world no. 3 Nadia Petrova. Petrova pulled out of the first grand slam of the season, following the recent demise of her mother. She had already pulled out of the tune-up events in Auckland and Hobart a few days ago.
Petrova's mother Nadezhda died in a car crash. 64 year old Nadezhda Ilyina was an Olympic medal winning athlete as she won the bronze at the 1976 Montreal Olympics in the 400-meter relay. Petrova is currently ranked no.
104 in the world and has not played since the US Open in August where she lost in the first round. She becomes the second high profile Russian to withdraw from the Australian Open. Maria Kirilenko has announced her withdrawal a few days ago as well due to injury.
Czech woman Iveta Melzer, aka Benesova, also withdrew from the first slam of the season. As a result of these withdrawals, Tsvetana Pironkova & Yulia Putintseva have moved into the main draw in Melbourne.