Coco Vandeweghe replaces Victoria Azarenka at Washington D.C.’s Citi Open

Hannah Wilks in WTA 31 Jul 2015
Victoria Azarenka's right shoulder injury puts her US Open Series campaign in doubt (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Victoria Azarenka has pulled out of the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. due to a right shoulder injury.

Citi Open tennis is live from Washington, D.C. from 3-9 August. Watch & bet on tennis live from Washington, D.C. at 365

Azarenka was due to compete at the International-level tournament in Washington, D.C. from 3-9 August but the tournament announced on Friday that the former world no. 1 would not be appearing.

Coco Vandeweghe, the American ranked world no. 32 who recently reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon, will receive a main-draw wildcard for the Washington, D.C. event.

Victoria Azarenka laughs with Serena Williams during the trophy ceremony at the 2013 US Open (STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
The news is a blow to Azarenka’s fans. After an injury-decimated 2014 season saw her plummet down the rankings, the two-time Australian Open champion was clawing her way back up and had started to record some strong results, finishing runner-up in Doha and reaching the quarterfinals of Rome and Wimbledon. She might have done better had she not repeatedly run into Serena Williams early in draws, but in Madrid, at the French Open and Wimbledon the pair played three immensely competitive three-set matches which solidified the impression that Azarenka is the only realistic consistent rival to the world no. 1. 

Azarenka has a strong record at the US Open, where she finished runner-up to Williams in 2012 and 2013, and also won the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati in 2013, defeating Williams in the final. So the Belarusian appeared poised for a strong summer hard-court season which could now be jeopardized by injury.

A shoulder injury might have something to do with the work Azarenka has put in on improving her serve, but it remains to be seen whether it will affect her planned participation at the Rogers Cup in Toronto (8-16 August) and the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati (17-23 August). 

Sara Errani and Daniela Hantuchova have also withdrawn from the Citi Open due to injury. The field will be led by world no. 11 Ekaterina Makarova, a semifinalist at both the Citi Open and the US Open in 2014. She is joined by defending champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, 2014 runner-up Kurumi Nara, and a strong field which includes world no. 22 Belinda Bencic, former Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard and Sloane Stephens.

A dual-gender event, the men’s field at the Citi Open will be led by world no. 3 Andy Murray as he returns to action for the first time since reaching the Wimbledon semifinals and leading Great Britain through to the semifinals of the Davis Cup. Murray is joined by world no. 5 Kei Nishikori, runner-up at the US Open in 2014, and a third top-10 player, reigning US Open champion Marin Cilic. Grigor Dimitrov, Feliciano Lopez and American no. 1 John Isner are also in the field for Washington, D.C, but young Australian talent Thanasi Kokkinakis has withdrawn.

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Coco Vandeweghe replaces Victoria Azarenka at Washington D.C.’s Citi Open

Right shoulder injury for Azarenka sees her withdraw from next week’s Citi Open

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