Halep withdraws from Brisbane International


The WTA Brisbane International has lost more of its star power after top seed Simona Halep succumbed to a left leg injury.

A forearm problem saw the withdrawal of defending champion Maria Sharapova on Tuesday and Romanian world number two Halep followed suit shortly after without hitting a ball.

Halep, who was due to play Victoria Azarenka in Brisbane on Wednesday after receiving a first-round bye, has been replaced by Ysaline Bonaventure.

"We're sad to see Simona withdraw and I'm disappointed for our fans as I know they were looking forward to seeing her in Brisbane," tournament director Cam Pearson said.

"The field this year is incredibly strong and there's still plenty of world-class action in store."

Halep - the 2014 French Open finalist - is eyeing her maiden grand slam at the Australian Open, which gets underway on January 18.