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Caroline Wozniacki's injury concern as Australian Open looms

By Steve Simpson

Caroline Wozniacki's Australian Open preparations took a hit yesterday when she was forced to withdraw from her first-round match at the Sydney International with a wrist injury.

Wozniacki had dropped the first set to Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic 6-4 and was tied at 1-1 in the second set when she walked to the net and indicated that she couldn't continue.

The fourth-seeded Dane called for the trainer three times during the first set for treatment on her left wrist.

"I felt it during one shot,'' Wozniacki said. "I hit it against the wind and hit it late and I felt it in my wrist.

"I've had it before so I kind of know what it is. It's painful every time I had to hit a backhand and I didn't want to make it worse before Melbourne, so I'm just going to try and get some treatment on it and try and get ready for next week.''

Wozniacki said she's confident that she'll be able to play at Melbourne Park, although the treatment she received at courtside did not relieve her discomfort.

"I just felt like it was getting a little worse, so I felt like I wasn't going to win the match without being able to deliver a proper backhand,'' she said.

Wozniacki beat Zahlavova Strycova in three sets in the semi-finals of the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand, last week, before falling to Venus Williams in the final.

Zahlavova Strycova will now play Australia's Samantha Stosur in the second round.

Stosur overcame some home-crowd jitters to beat Lucie Safarova 7-6 (3), 5-7, 6-3.

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