Tennis: Will any women be standing at start of Australian Open?

Serena Williams withdrew from the Hopman Cup due to a knee injury. Photo / AP
Serena Williams withdrew from the Hopman Cup due to a knee injury. Photo / AP

A week out from the Australian Open and nine of the women's top 10 players in the world are struggling with either injury or form.

World No.10 Angelique Kerber is the only member of the top ten to not withdraw, lose first round, or retire through the first few weeks of the 2016 season.

The world's top-four ranked players - Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Simona Halep and Garbine Muguruza have all endured a troubled lead-up to the Australian Open while world number nine Lucie Safarova withdrew from the tournament last week due to a bacterial infection.

Williams (knee), Halep (Achilles), Muguruza (foot) and Sharapova (forearm) have all withdrawn from a series of tournaments on the eve of the opening grand slam of the year.

But they aren't the only ones struggling.

Defending champion Petra Kvitova withdrew from the Sydney International after she succumbed to a stomach bug picked up at the Shenzhen Open last week, while Agnieszka Radwanska, who won the title in China, is recovering from a left leg injury.

Venus Williams, ranked sixth in the world, lost in the first round in Auckland last week as did former world No.1 Ana Ivanovic who slumped to her second first-round exit in as many weeks after falling 6-4 6-2 to Karolina Pliskova on day one of the Sydney International.

Australian No.1 Sam Stosur is also battling a wrist problem.

The Australian Open begins on 18 January.

- NZ Herald

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