The 2019 WTA Qatar Open has lost another star player to a viral illness as the second seeded Karolina Pliskova has withdrawn from the competition.
Pliskova was scheduled to play her second round match against Elise Mertens later today after getting an opening round bye but she has decided not to play after joining Caroline Wozniacki on the sidelines. Wozniacki had also decided to skip the Qatar Open because of the same issue, a viral illness.
The Czech player will now be replaced in the singles draw by her own twin sibling Kristyna who was a lucky-loser in the qualifiers. The pair of Karolina and Kristyna was also scheduled to feature in the doubles draw but will now have Ons Jabeur and Alison Riske playing in their place.
Speaking of her decision to not play in the Qatar Open, Pliskova said:
“I had a temperature few days. I don’t have any neck pain or something, but I just feel overall super tired, and my muscles are just hurting from the morning without even doing anything. So I’m just not able to compete 100% today.”
Pliskova explained her issues started at the end of her Fed Cup tie against Romania, where she played Simona Halep in a tough encounter.
This was followed by her arrival in Doha where, from the very first day she said she hadn’t been feeling very well and explained this is probably the first time she was feeling like this.
“It’s normal that you are tired, of course, when you are traveling and playing a lot of matches. But I just feel somehow my body is not ready.”
Pliskova joins Wozniacki and Caroline Garcia on the sidelines, the latter due to a left leg injury, making it a total of five player withdrawals since the draw was made.