It’s hard not to feel bad for Victoria Azarenka.
The former World No. 1 fought back after a couple years lost to injury and looked poised to regain her spot at the top of the game. After three titles, including top non-major events in Indian Wells and Miami, she led the year-to-date points standings, but a back injury cost her most of the clay season and now a knee injury has sabotaged her chances at the French Open and Wimbledon.
Azarenka, who turns 27 next month, had to retire in her first round match in Paris and it did not improve enough to play Wimbledon, as she withdrew on Thursday in advance of Friday’s formulation of the draw.
A stellar 26-3 on the season (along with two mid-tournament withdrawals), Azarenka had gotten herself back into the top five and currently sits comfortably at sixth after nearly falling all the way out of the top 50 in early 2015.
Azarenka made Wimbledon semifinals in 2011 and 2012 (with results of second round/second round/quarterfinal the last three years), and has also won some hardware on the Wimbledon courts, taking home both the singles bronze and mixed doubles gold (with Max Mirnyi) for her country of Belarus at the 2012 London Olympics.