Karolina Pliskova becomes highest ranked player to withdraw from Australian Open

Karolina Pliskova

Karolina Pliskova has become the highest-ranked player to withdraw from the Australian Open.

The world number four posted a picture of herself on social media with her right forearm in a plaster cast after injuring her hand in practice.

Pliskova wrote: “Some days are worse than others. Unfortunately, I will be out for a while and will not compete at my favourite tournaments in Australia. But time and believe (sic) can heal everything.”

The 2019 semi-finalist was gutted to miss out on the Australian swing of the WTA Tour and the first Grand Slam of the year. She has reached the last four in both singles and doubles in Melbourne and her withdrawal significantly weakens a women’s draw reeling from a pair of high-profile

The 29-year-old Czech was resurgent in 2021, reaching her second grand slam final at Wimbledon, where she was defeated in a tight contest by Ashleigh Barty.

The injury ends Pliskova’s streak of competing in 35 consecutive grand slam tournaments, with this the first one she will miss since the 2012 US Open, where she failed to qualify.

Her run had been the joint-fourth longest active streak on tour, behind Alizé Cornet (59), Angelique Kerber (48), Kristina Mladenovic (38) and joint with Caroline Garcia (35).

This withdrawal marks the first time Pliskova has missed out on the main draw of a Grand Slam main draw through injury.

While she has never won the Australian Open Pliskova is a three-time Brisbane champion (2017, 2019 and 2020) and reached her first WTA 500 final in Sydney back in 2015.

She joins Serena Williams and Bianca Andreescu as high-profile absentees from the first grand slam of the new season, which begins on January 17.

Williams revealed that she was nowhere near where she wanted to be physically ahead of the tournament while Andreescu is taking time off from the game.