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
Sport
footballHe started just four months ago
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Travel
Streets ahead: Venice
travelWhat's trending on your wishlist?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Caption competition
Caption competition
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.

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect