The 37th edition of the Linz Open will be part of the WTA 500 series after a communicated upgrade by the WTA, meaning that that tournament will offer a record prize money at the event. The entry list was confirmed at the start of the week.
Wimbledon champion Vondrousova was expected to spearhead the 28-player singles draw in Austria, but that won't happen after pulling out on short notice. Main draw action is set to commence on Monday, January 29th, just two days from the Australian Open women's final.
Neither the player nor the tournament has issued the reasoning behind her absence. But the Czech disclosed to reporters following her meek early exit at this year's Australian Open that she had been carrying a hip injury to the tournament.
Vondrousova suffered an absolute mauling at the hands of Ukrainian qualifier Dayana Yastresmka - the surprise package of the 2024 Australian Open. She won just three games in the match and has not been around tennis courts since.
The Czech might have chosen rest and recovery over training resumption, especially with a demanding schedule in February and March. It looks like she will now turn her attention to the back-to-back WTA 1000 tournaments in the Middle East, in Doha and Dubai, respectively.
Vondrousova is among the top 10 seeds at both events, with the first of those kicking off on February 11th in Qatar's capital. It is also possible that she might take a late wild card into the WTA 500 event in Abu Dhabi a week before that, should she shake off any niggling injuries.
Vondrousova's withdrawal from Linz means that Ekaterina Alexandrova will take over as the top seed. And the 24-year-old lefty will be replaced in the main draw by British No. 1 Katie Boulter, who was the first alternate.