Victoria Azarenka is facing a battle to be fit for the French Open after the top seed pulled out of the Rome Masters with a shoulder injury.
The Belarussian has nine days to recover in time for the start of Roland Garros on May 27 as she seeks to back up the Australian Open title she won by beating Maria Sharapova in the final.
Despite battling a left injury ankle that forced her to withdraw from the Dubai, the world number one continued her superb form, winning her first 26 matches of 2012 before losing to Marion Bartoli in Miami.
Her only other two defeats have come in finals in Stuttgart and WTA final.
She was the last on court on Wednesday when she saw off the talented Israeli Shahar Peer with a 6-1, 6-2 victory in the second round.
Her withdrawal handed a walkover victory to her scheduled third-round opponent Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia.
The 14th-seeded Cibulkova will play in the last eight on Friday against the winner from eighth seed Li Na of China and Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa.
AFPTags: sport, tennis, france, belarus First posted May 17, 2012 22:25:10