Maria Sharapova has suffered a pre-season injury scare, a neck injury forcing the world No 2 to withdraw from a planned exhibition match in South Korea against Caroline Wozniacki.
The Russian star had been due to face the former world No1 Dane today in Seoul but she wrote on her Facebook page that she has been ordered to rest before travelling to Australia where she is to start her season in Brisbane next week.
"For everyone in Korea, I'm sorry I had to withdraw from my exhibition match," the French Open champion wrote.
"I woke up the other day with a neck pain and after doing a few tests, the doctor wants me to take the next few days without any playing.
"So that leaves me to say I'm sorry not to be there in Seoul and play in front of my fans. I will make it up to you soon."
Brisbane International organisers have been assured Sharapova will start her Australian Open campaign in Queensland despite her Seoul withdrawal.
The Russian has a history of withdrawing from the first WTA event of the new year in Queensland, having twice before scratched herself because of injury.
But Sharapova's manager has contacted tournament director Cameron Pearson to allay any fears of another Brisbane withdrawal.
Pearson said the four-time grand slam winner was now flying directly to Brisbane and would arrive today, two days earlier than previously expected.