Victoria Azarenka withdraws from Luxembourg to shut down the season

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Victoria Azarenka withdraws from Luxembourg to shut down the season

A former world number 1 and Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka has decided to withdraw from Luxembourg Open due to personal reasons and conclude the season. World number 55 had played just two events in 2017 after giving a birth and custody battle and she couldn't compete at this year's Australian Open despite receiving a wild card, returning to action at Indian Wells where she played her first match since Wimbledon 2017.

She lost in the second round to Sloane Stephens but we saw an old Vika in Miami where she reached the semi-final where Stephens toppled her again in three sets. The clay season brought mediocre results to the Belarusian, winning just one match in Madrid, Rome and Roland Garros and it wasn't much better on the grass either, losing to Lucie Safarova in Mallorca and Karolina Pliskova at Wimbledon.

Competing on hard courts again, Azarenka reached the quarter-final of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose and she was forced to retire against Danielle Collins due to a back problem. Johanna Konta was too strong a week later in Montreal, halting Azarenka on just four games, and Vika was beaten in the second round of Cincinnati as well, heading to the US Open in not a great spirit.

She won two matches in New York, though, fighting well against Sloane Stephens before falling 6-3 6-4. After a suitable rest, Azarenka entered Tokyo where she retired in the opening set of the quarter-final clash against Camila Giorgi and that proved to be her final match of the season, hoping to bounce back in 2019 and attack at least the Top 20 if she finds her best tennis again.

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