Azarenka out of Rome, in Paris fitness battle


Victoria Azarenka is facing a battle to be fit for the French Open after the top seed pulled out of the Rome Masters here on Thursday with a shoulder injury. The Belarussian now has 10 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 over Maria Sharapova. Women’s world number one Azarenka 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.