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Andrea Petkovic joins Australian Open casualty list

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World No.10 Andrea Petkovic withdrew from the Australian Open Championships due to a low back stress fracture. Petkovic has been struggling with the back injuries for a while now and appeared to aggravate her back during her defeat to Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland in a second-round match at the Sydney International on Tuesday. It is understood that the German will take close to six to eight weeks to recover from the injury.

Petkovic had her best performance at the Open in 2011 when she reached the quarterfinals defeating Jill Craybas, Anne Keothavong, an injured No. 3 seed Venus Williams, who retired after one game, and No. 14 seed Maria Sharapova. She was ultimately defeated 2–6, 4–6 by finalist Li Na. In 2011, she also reached the quarterfinals of the French and the US Open and broke into the top 10 of the WTA rankings for the first time.

Petkovic announced to the WTA, "I'm really disappointed because I love Australia. It's funny, I actually tore my ACL here, but on the other hand I also made my first ever Grand Slam quarterfinal here. So either it's a big high or a big low! I am so sorry that I won't be seeing my fans in Melbourne, because I love the Australians and feel like we have a great connection. I'm going to head back to Germany because I want to have some more tests with my doctors and be close to my family.

"I'm already looking forward to coming back to Australia next year."

The German is very popular among the fans for her on court celebratory jig called the ''Petko Dance'', which she performs after every win.

Venus Williams, the seven time Grand slam champion, had earlier announced her intention to pull out of the tournament on account of continuing illness.