The Western & Southern Open has taken a triple hit in the last 24 hours. On Thursday, Andy Murray announced that he would not be contesting the event. On Friday, both Marin Cilic and Victoria Azarenka have announced that they too will have to miss the tournament. With Murray and Cilic, the news of their withdrawals had to do with the physical conditions of their bodies. With Azarenka, the news of her withdrawal was stated as personal: “I am disappointed to have to pull out of the Western & Southern Open due to a family matter,” Azarenka said. “I look forward to coming back to Cincinnati and playing in front of its great fans for many years to come” (qtd.

at the website for the Western & Southern Open on August 11th).

Azarenka also missed Stanford

It is the second straight event that Azarenka has pulled out of after being awarded a wild card. She was a part of the WTA Stanford draw earlier this summer however she pulled out of that event citing illness a couple of weeks ago. As a wild-card withdrawal, it means that the WTA event has one more to hand out. It will likely go to one of the country's young talents as wild cards are generally awarded in such a manner.

Azarenka has only recently returned to tour after a length absence due to maternity leave. The former World No. 1 has not really grounded herself into a comeback yet. According to the August 7th WTA rankings she is just 203rd in the world.

Azarenka has only contested two events this season, one in Mallorca and the other being the Wimbledon draw. At the latter event she did do well in defeating Catherine Bellis and Elena Vesnina in the opening rounds. Azarenka also appeared to play solid to start her fourth-round match against Simona Halep before ultimately losing.

However, at this point Azarenka doesn't have a solid result with which to propel herself back into the big draws without depending on wild cards.

Questionable to do well at Flushing Meadows?

Azarenka missing all of Stanford, this week's Toronto event, and Cincinnati could hurt her chances of doing well at the US Open. She is not on the players' list for the Connecticut Open, a tournament that will be played just ahead of the 2017 US Open.

That means she will enter Flushing Meadows unprepared on cement. In fact, to find the most-recent hard-court match in Azarenka's history you have to go all the way back to Miami 2016. At that point Azarenka was in exceptional form as she ran over that draw having just won Indian Wells. But a year and a half between hard-court matches certainly doesn't bode well for her chances at the upcoming hard-court Grand Slam in New York.