Lucie Safarova to bypass Australian Open due to health problems
By Mike Patterson
Last Updated: 07/01/16 5:06pm
Lucie Safarova has announced she will miss the Australian Open which starts in Melbourne on January 18.
The world No 9 from the Czech Republic is still suffering from health problems linked to a bacterial infection that saw her hospitalised for a week last September.
"The treatment of my bacterial infection has become complicated in recent days," said Safarova, who won the Australian Open women's doubles title last year alongside Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
"I couldn't do the training that would allow me to fly to the tournaments in Australia well prepared. That's why I have decided to pull out, not to burden the organism by travelling, and focus on treatment and gradual convalescence.
"My joints still hurt and so I can't prepare the way I and my coach would like. The bio-chemical checks are not 100 per cent either."
Safarova caught the infection after playing in the French Open last year and returned in time for October's WTA Finals in Singapore, where she failed to make it past the group stage.
The 28-year-old was also a member of the Czech Republic team that won the Fed Cup in mid-November but did not play because of an inflamed tendon in her left wrist.
She has now targeted the Fed Cup first-round tie in Romania on February 6-7 for her comeback, although she will wait for the big WTA tournaments in the United States in March if necessary.