SYDNEY • Defending champion Petra Kvitova and second seed Agnieszka Radwanska are the latest stars to have troubled build-ups to this month's Australian Open after both withdrew from the Sydney International yesterday.
Third-seeded Czech Kvitova will not be able to retain her Sydney title after succumbing to a gastrointestinal illness.
Poland's Radwanska joined Kvitova after withdrawing from the Sydney tournament with a left-leg injury.
Their withdrawals from the final lead-up tournament to the year's first Grand Slam event came after injury problems at other Australian tournaments for the world stars ranked in the top four - Serena Williams (knee), Simona Halep (Achilles), Garbine Muguruza (foot) and Maria Sharapova (forearm).
"I'm really disappointed to have to withdraw from the Sydney International but unfortunately I am still not feeling well," Kvitova said.
It is the second consecutive event from which the world No. 6 has withdrawn in the new year.
She retired with a stomach virus during the first round of the Shenzhen Open in China last week.
Radwanska said she needed to rest her leg after playing five matches in the past week.
"I'm really sorry that I can't play in Sydney this week," she said.
"I am feeling very confident in my game at the moment and the results are there, but after five matches in the past week, my leg needs some recovery time."
The Australian Open gets underway in Melbourne on Jan 18.