Melbourne [Australia], January 17 (ANI): Number nine seed Ons Jabeur on Monday withdrew ahead of a scheduled first-round Australian Open match with Spain's Nuria Parrizas Diaz due to a lingering back injury.
Australian Open lost its first top-10 seed at the midday mark on Day 1. The same injury forced the Tunisian to retire against Anett Kontaveit in the quarterfinals of the Sydney Tennis Classic on Wednesday.
Jabeur, who reached the quarterfinals at the Australian Open two years ago in a historic first for an Arab woman, shared a heartfelt message with fans on social media, saying that her decision was made with the long-term in mind.
Jabeur was replaced in the draw by lucky loser Irina Bara of Romania, and Parrizas Diaz made good use of the change in opposition to secure her first Grand Slam main-draw win, 6-3, 6-1.
Taking to Twitter, Jabeur wrote: "Sadly, I had to withdraw from my first round of the Australian Open today. I have injured my back in Sydney last week. I tried everything to be ready and thought I could have recovered in time to play here. Unfortunately, the pain is still very present and playing in such conditions could jeopardize my whole season."
"I will now rest and treat myself to come back as soon as possible. Thank you so much to all my fans for all of their help and support! Hoping to be 100% for the next one," the 27-year-old added. (ANI)