Melbourne, Australia, 14 January 2023 | Leigh Rogers

Ajla Tomljanovic has withdrawn from Australian Open 2023.

The top-ranked Australian woman made the announcement today, citing a knee injury as the reason.

“It absolutely pains me to have to write this message but unfortunately I won’t be able to compete at this year’s Australian Open,” Tomljanovic shared on social media.

“I’ve done absolutely everything in my power to get healthy but just ran out of time to heal and be 100 per cent ready to compete at a high level.

“It’s been a very tough decision to make but I have to listen to my body.”

“It’s no secret that this is my favourite place to play, so it hurts to miss out on a great opportunity to play in front of my home crowd and to be surrounded by the incredible love and atmosphere.”

Tomljanovic will be replaced in the draw by a lucky loser.

An emotional Tomljanovic later told media at Melbourne Park “this is the worst thing that really could have happened”.

“If you ask me, this is probably the worst timing ever,” said the world No.35.

“This shouldn’t have happened now. It’s the time when I’m feeling my best self in every way, coming into a Slam truly feeling like I deserve to be even a contender.

“It feels a little unfair, but life’s unfair. (It is) part of our job, injuries will happen.”

Tomljanovic’s withdrawal leaves five Australians – Jaimee Fourlis, Kimberly Birrell, Olivia Gadecki, Storm Hunter and Talia Gibson – in the Australian Open 2023 women’s singles competition.

Main-draw action at the first Grand Slam tournament of the season begins at Melbourne Park on Monday.

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