Victoria Azarenka is blaming a bad pedicure for the injury that forced her out of a Brisbane International semifinal against Serena Williams.
The top-ranked Azarenka announced half an hour before the scheduled start of Friday's match that she had to withdraw after having treatment for an infected big toe on her right foot, saying she couldn't risk aggravating the problem ahead of her attempt to defend her Australian Open title starting Jan. 14.
The 23-year-old Belarussian, who last year won the Sydney International before claiming her first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open during a 26-match winning streak, has lost all but one of her previous 12 matches against Williams, a 15-time major winner, and was 0-5 in head-to-heads in 2012.
She said she'd had the toe problem for 10 days but the infection got so bad that she had to visit a doctor and have part of the toe nail removed.
''It just got infected from a bad pedicure experience. I had somebody who gave...