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Azarenka out of Cincinnati Masters

ESPN staff
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Victoria Azarenka suffered an injury setback during training on Tuesday © Getty Images
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Defending champion Victoria Azarenka has withdrawn from the Cincinnati Masters because of a right knee injury.

The WTA says Azarenka withdrew after practicing on Tuesday. Azarenka was replaced in the draw by Mona Barthel.

Azarenka injured her knee in her first-round win at Wimbledon and played in two further tournaments after the SW14 event.

She hopes to be ready for the US Open, which starts on August 25.

"I'm going to get more treatment and get more work done and should be good for the US Open," Azarenka said in a release. "I feel strongly that it's the best for me at this moment."

The tournament has also been hit by the withdrawal of its defending men's champion, Rafael Nadal, after he suffered a wrist injury last month.

Meanwhile, Venus Williams, who knocked off sister Serena while reaching the final in Montreal on Sunday and finishing as runner-up, suffered an early exit in Cincinnati as she lost 6-7(2) 6-3 6-4 to to Lucie Safarova in the first round.

Maria Sharapova saw off the challenge of rising star Madison Keys 6-1 3-6 6-3 to reach the third round, while former world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki beat Shuai Zhang 6-2 6-3.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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