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Andrea Petkovic, who had been set to be the tenth seed at the Australian Open, has had to pull out of the tournament due to a back injury.
The 24-year-old German picked up the problem during her defeat to Agnieszka Radwanska in the Sydney International and needed to receive treatment from the trainer during the match.

Petkovic, who reached the quarter-finals of last year's Australian Open, said: "I've been struggling with it, but I've always believed it was going to be fine and so I pushed through the pain.

"The last two weeks in Australia I've been having bigger problems. I decided to have an MRI and a CT and the results showed a stress fracture in my lower back. The only thing I can do right now is rest - not walking or sitting a lot - just lying down and hoping that the bone will heal as fast as possible."

Petkovic’s withdrawal came shortly after seven-time Grand Slam winner Venus Williams was forced to pull out of the first major live tennis tournament of the year for health reasons.

The German number one was the sunject of many online bets last year when she beat Jill Craybas, Anne Keothavong, Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova in arun to the last eight in Melbourne before eventually being beaten 6-2 6-4 by Li Na of China.

Her best run at Wimbledon came in 2011 when she reached the third round and she also battled her way through to the quarter-finals of last year’s French Open and US Open.

She reached a career-high world ranking of nine in October 2011 and has two WTA titles to her name.
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