DUBAI, UAE - WTA World No.14 Caroline Wozniacki has been forced to pull out of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships due to a viral illness.
The No.9 seed had been scheduled to play Stefanie Voegele, herself a lucky loser after the withdrawal of Samantha Stosur, in the first round of the event on Monday.
Another lucky loser, Polona Hercog, who lost in three sets to Lucie Hradecka in qualifying, will take her spot.
The illness represents a blow to the Dane, who has an excellent record in the tournament. Indeed, she won the title in 2011 and has reached at least the semifinals on another four occasions, finishing as the runner-up to Elina Svitolina in 2017, when she last played the event.
Wozniacki has not turned out competitively since the Australian Open, where she lost in the third round to Maria Sharapova, with the same viral issue preventing her from taking part in Doha last week.
It has proven a disjointed start to the year for the former WTA World No.1, whose only tournament other than the Melbourne major was in Auckland, where she suffered a second-round loss to Canadian up-and-comer Bianca Andreescu.