Victoria Azarenka says her personal life has been “extremely stressful” in recent weeks and playing at the Miami Open was “a mistake” after abruptly retiring from her third-round match.

The Belarusian was trailing 6-2 3-0 against 16-year-old Linda Fruhvirtova when she suddenly ended the match.

Azarenka, 32, was in tears on court during her third-round defeat at Indian Wells earlier in March.

“I shouldn’t have gone on the court today,” Azareka said in a statement.

Azarenka shouted “why am I here?” towards her coaching box during the match against Fruhvirtova.

After 45 minutes’ play, she suddenly shook hands with her opponent and the umpire and walked off court, despite the umpire telling her to wait for the trainer.

It was Azarenka’s seventh mid-tournament retirement or withdrawal in the past 14 months.

“The last few weeks have been extremely stressful in my personal life,” Azarenka posted on social media after the match.

“Last match took so much out of me, but I wanted to play in front of a great audience as they helped me pull through my first match.

“I wanted to go out there and try but it was a mistake.”

Azarenka has previously spoken about a long-term custody battle over her son that limited her playing time in 2017 and 2018.

Belarusian and Russian athletes currently compete as neutrals on the WTA and ATP Tour following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“I always look forward to the challenge and pressure of competition but today it was too much. I have to and will learn from this,” Azarenka added.


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