Madison Keys joins the growing list of WTA players that won't play at the 2017 Australian Open. Keys took to Twitter on Friday to announce that, while she has signed on with former No. 1 Lindsay Davenport, Keys won't be able to participate in next month's Grand Slam from Melbourne Park. The reason for missing the first major tournament of 2017 has to do what Keys called "minor arthroscopic surgery on (her) left wrist." With the news, Keys joins several other top-billed players that won't be participating in the 2017 Australian Open.

Other players that won't be at Melbourne Park

Petra Kvitova won't be in the event due to the tragic events of earlier this week.

Kvitova was attacked in her apartment a few days ago, leading to knife wounds in her left hand. Recovering from her injury will require six months and that easily covers the South Pacific swing and the 2017 Australian Open among many other events.

Maria Sharapova's suspension won't end until late April, meaning the Russian won't be in the Australian Open draw. Furthermore, Victoria Azarenka can't be expected to be ready for the tournament, one that starts in less than a month, as she gave birth just three days ago.

Kerber, Wozniacki, S. Williams remain favorites

Despite the depletion of stars at the 2017 Australian Open, defending champion Angelique Kerber remains a top-2 favorite for the tournament (bet365).

It will be the first Grand Slam event where she returns as champion. Several other top players are still expected to join Kerber in the draw, including Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki. Simona Halep, Garbine Muguruza, Karolina Pliskova, Agniezska Radwanska, and Dominika Cibulkova are other top women's players that are expected at the event.

However, if there are any big upsets in the early rounds or more withdrawals then the tournament might see some unexpected runs from the lower-ranked players. Due to all the developments, the tournament truly represents an opportunity for a lesser-known player to scythe her way deep in the Melbourne Park draw next month.

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