Defending champion Iga Swiatek has withdrawn from the Miami Open after “feeling a lot of discomfort” due to a rib injury.
The world number one was due to play American Claire Liu in the second round of the tournament on Thursday after receiving a bye.
However, Swiatek revealed in a statement on social media that she had been struggling with a rib issue sustained during last month’s Qatar Open, which she went on to win.
The Pole confirmed that she will take a break, meaning she is also set to miss the upcoming Billie Jean King Cup in April.
🎾 It was a very difficult decision to make but I have no doubts that health is the most important. ⤵️
🎾 To była naprawdę bardzo trudna decyzja, ale nie mam wątpliwości, że zdrowie jest absolutnie najważniejsze. ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/HjBqrANmy0
— Iga Świątek (@iga_swiatek) March 22, 2023
She said: “You know that in and after Doha I was struggling with a strong infection. I was allowed to play, but a strong episode of tough cough led to a rib injury.
“We were trying to handle it and continue to play as long as it was safe for me. We were analysing the data in the last days and my doctor prepared my diagnosis.
“Unfortunately, I’m still feeling a lot of discomfort and pain and I can’t compete.
“I need to take a break to recover and I have to pull out of the Miami Open and Billie Jean King Cup.
“I will keep you updated about where I play next, because it depends on my process of recovering and the recommendation of my medical team. I have the best team behind me, we only need some time to deal with the injury.
“It’s a truly difficult call to not play in Miami and BJKC, but health is the most important.
“I’m grateful this is the first health issue in a long time and I was able to compete in perfect shape for so long, but that’s sports, it happens sometimes, without our control.
“Time to accept it and get well as soon as possible.”
Swiatek’s withdrawal means that Julia Grabher will take her place in Miami.