File image of Aryna Sabalenka© AFP
Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus reached the fourth round at Indian Wells by walkover on Sunday as Ukrainian qualifier Lesia Tsurenko pulled out of their scheduled match. Organizers said Tsurenko cited “personal reasons” for yet another withdrawal. No further details were given, and there was no indication that the Russian invasion of Ukraine last year — which has resulted in Russian and Belarussian tennis players from being barred from competing under their national flags — was a factor.
Indeed, Tsurenko has now lost by retirement or walkover in nine of her 18 tournaments dating back to Indian Wells last year.
She gave up a semi-final walkover at Canberra this year and gave up quarter-final walkovers at Eastbourne and Portoroz, Slovenia, last year.
Sabalenka, whose first Grand Slam title in Melbourne was part of a perfect 13-0 start to the year that ended in the quarter-finals at Dubai, had breezed into the third round with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Evgeniya Rodina.
She next faces former French Open winner Barbora Krejcikova, who ousted China’s Wang Xinyu 6-2, 6-7 (1/7), 6-2.
Krejcikova beat the top three players in the world on the way to the title in Dubai last month, climbing 14 places in the WTA rankings to 16th.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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