Victoria Azarenka of Belarus speaks to the media in Brisbane earlier. Tertius Pickard/AP/Press Association Images

Victoria Azarenka blames 'bad pedicure' for withdrawal in Brisbane

“The doctor said it happens a lot. It’s never happened to me before,” she said.

WE’VE HEARD IT all now.

World number one Victoria Azarenka is the latest top player to be under an injury cloud heading into the Australian Open… but this isn’t a typical hamstring strain or muscle tear.

Just days after world number two Maria Sharapova pulled out of the Brisbane International with a collarbone injury, Azarenka followed suit prior to her scheduled semi-final against American Serena Williams tonight. And she’s blamed a bad pedicure for her decision.

“It just got infected from a bad pedicure experience. I had somebody who gave me infection,” said the 23-year-old. ”The doctor said it happens a lot. It’s never happened to me before. It’s something that I am definitely going to prevent for the next time.”

The Belarusian’s withdrawal allows Williams an easy passage into the final, where she will meet either Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova or Ukrainian lucky loser Lesia Tsurenko.

In the men’s tournament, world number three Andy Murray booked his place in the semi-finals but third seed Gilles Simon crashed out at the hands of Marcos Baghdatis. The other semi-final will feature two unseeded players after Baghdatis and Grigor Dimitrov both caused upsets.

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