Belarusian Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka reached the fourth round at Indian Wells on Sunday after Ukrainian qualifier Lesya Tsurenko withdrew from her scheduled match.
Organizers said Tsurenko cited “personal reasons” for another withdrawal.
No further details were given, and there was no suggestion that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year – which resulted in tennis players from Russia and Belarus being barred from competing under their national flag – was a factor.
In fact, Tsurenko has now lost by retiring or being knocked out in nine of her 18 tournaments dating back to Indian Wells last year.
She gave up the semi-final round in Canberra this year and gave up the quarter-final round in Eastbourne and Portorož, Slovenia, last year.
Sabalenka, whose maiden Grand Slam title in Melbourne was part of a perfect 13-0 start to the year that ended in the quarter-finals in Dubai, reached the third round with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Evgenia Rodina. .
Next, she will face former French Open winner Barbora Krejcikova, who knocked out China’s Wang Xinyu 6-2, 6-7 (1/7), 6-2.
Krejcikova beat the world’s top three players on her way to the title in Dubai last month, climbing 14 places in the WTA rankings to 16th.