Updated: 2013-01-05 08:38

(China Daily)

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In Brisbane

Azarenka suffers setback ahead of Australian Open

Victoria Azarenka's Australian Open preparations were complicated on Friday when "a bad pedicure experience" forced the world No 1 to withdraw from her Brisbane International semifinal against Serena Williams.

Thirty minutes before the match against her US opponent, the defending Australian Open champion announced she would be unable to compete after undergoing a minor procedure to fix an ingrown nail that infected her right big toe.

"It's been there for about 10 days," the 23-year-old Belarussian (pictured) said. "It's just been getting worse a little bit.

"I don't know in medical terms, but I had to get a piece (of nail) out of my toe because it was jamming into me and got infected.

"It's something that's very unfortunate, but I had to do that. It was just jamming underneath into the skin. I was trying to minimize the pain with taping and everything.

"Yesterday it got worse. It got really infected and got really red, so we had to go and see the doctor. He had to open it. That's what I had to do."