Tennis: Nadia Petrova and Maria Kirilenko out of Australian Open


Russian tennis star Nadia Petrova has decided to pull out of January's Australian Open following the death in a car accident of her mother, a great athlete herself as she was an Olympic athletics bronze medalist. Another top Russian player, Maria Kirilenko, also pulled out of the Australian Open because of an injury.

The withdrawal of both players was reported by Russian media and confirmed by the organizers of the tournament. Petrova's mother Nadezhda Ilyina, died in a car accident in the Moscow region on December 7. She was a successful 400 metre runner, she won a bronze in the 4x400 relay in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. She had also held the USSR record in both the 400 metres and the 4x400 metres relay as well as the world record for 400 metres indoors. "Our condolences to Nadia Petrova who's withdrawn from Ausopen following the tragic loss of her mother," the Australian Open organisers said.

With Petrova and Kirilenko out, the odds for the women's Australian Open tournament have changed slightly, here's how Bet365 have priced the top ten favourites:

Serena Williams - 10/11
Victoria Azarenka - 10/3
Maria Sharapova - 8/1
Na Li - 12/1
Petra Kvitova - 20/1
Agnieszka Radwanska - 25/1
Simona Halep - 28/1
Sloane Stephens - 33/1
Angelique Kerber - 33/1
Samantha Stosur - 40/1

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