Pliskova forced to withdraw from Australian Open

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World number four Karolina Pliskova has withdrawn from the upcoming Australian Open, succumbing to a hand injury.

Pliskova – a two-time grand slam runner-up and 2019 Australian Open semi-finalist – hurt her hand in a practice session.

The 16-time WTA Tour champion will miss the main draw of the year's opening slam event, which gets underway on January 17, for the first time since failing to progress beyond qualifying in 2012.

"Unfortunately I hurt my right hand in practice yesterday and I won't be able to play in Adelaide, Sydney and Australian Open this year," Czech star Pliskova said.

"I am sad not being able to start my season in Australia and I will miss my Australian fans very much."

Australian Open officials also confirmed Pliskova's absence on Thursday.

"You will be missed, @KaPliskova. Wishing you a speedy recovery," the Australian Open wrote via social media.

Pliskova lost in the Australian Open third round at Melbourne Park earlier this year before falling at the second hurdle at the French Open.

The 29 year-old then reached the Wimbledon decider, trumped by world number one Ash Barty, followed by a quarter-final appearance at the US Open.


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