Hong Kong – China's Li Na will miss an exhibition match in Hong Kong after an ankle injury she sustained in last month's Australian Open final failed to respond well enough to treatment, organisers said Wednesday.
The announcement comes weeks after the world number five also withdrew from the $2.3 million Qatar Open.
The 31-year-old twisted her ankle twice during her three-set loss to Victoria Azarenka in Melbourne just over one month ago and “has not responded enough to intense treatment”, said a spokesman for the exhibition match.
Li was scheduled to face Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki at the BNP Paribas Showdown in Hong Kong on March 4.
She said: “Unfortunately, the ankle injury I had in the Australian Open final is still not ready for me to compete.
“I know I have some of the best fans who live in Hong Kong and I was looking forward to playing for them. I promise I will be back next year.”
Fans will be anxious for Li to recover in time for the French Open in May, a tournament she won in 2011 to make her the first player from Asia to achieve a Grand Slam singles title.
World number four Agnieszka Radwanska, meanwhile, will take Li's place in Hong Kong. – Sapa-AFP