Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka penalised for failing to fulfil Dubai duties

 

Dubai

Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka will pay financial and ranking points penalties following their late withdrawals from this week's Dubai Duty Free Championships.

Although the current and former world No 1s provided the requisite medical documentation the Women's Tennis Association has deducted $100,000 (about £66,000) from Azarenka's potential earnings from the end-of-year bonus pool and $50,000 from Williams' possible share of the pot. The top 10 players share a bonus fund of $4.9m (£3.2m) at the end of the season.

The WTA has also decreed that this week's tournament will count as a "zero-pointer" in the two players' ranking totals, which means that they cannot replace it with points from a different tournament. Azarenka, citing a foot injury for this event, and Williams, who said she had a back problem, both played in Doha last week.

Azarenka pulled out from this week's tournament on Tuesday and Williams withdrew not long before she was due to play her first match the following day. The tournament, which offers $2m in prize-money, is one of eight "premier" events, which are the most important on the WTA tour, and had attracted 17 of the world's top 20 players.

Dubai Duty Free, which owns and organises the tournament, has sponsored the WTA for nine years and is one of the governing body's six main partners.

Salah Tahlak, the tournament director, who spoke to a WTA official in Florida, said the withdrawal of the two top seeds was "disappointing both for the tournament and for the fans, some of whom come from all over the world to see them play".

Today's semi-finals will pit the Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova against Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki, while Sara Errani will face fellow Italian Roberta Vinci. Kvitova, who has been in good form since the Australian Open, beat Agnieszka Radwanska, the world No 4 and highest-ranked player left in the field, 6-2, 6-4. Wozniacki beat Marion Bartoli 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 after which the Frenchwoman revealed that she is to be coached by Amélie Mauresmo. Bartoli said she would be working hard to improve her physical condition. "I'm ready to make all the sacrifices,' she said.

Britain's Heather Watson went out in the quarter-finals in Memphis, beaten 6-1, 6-2 by Switzerland's Stefanie Voegele.

Suggested Topics
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk