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Belinda Bencic withdraws from Indian Wells with knee injury

The Olympic champion has not recovered from the right knee problem she suffered in Chicago earlier this month

Belinda Bencic Chicago 2021 Zuma / Panoramic

Olympic champion Belinda Bencic pulled out of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells on Friday, citing a knee injury.

The Swiss will be replaced in the draw by Kristina Kucova, a lucky loser, but the news is a blow to her hopes of qualifying for the season-ending WTA Finals in Guadalajara.

Bencic suffered the injury earlier this month in Chicago and after testing it out in practice, clearly decided it was not ready for the rigours of competition.

Bencic won the biggest title of her career when she picked up the gold medal at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in August. Heading into Indian Wells she stood at No 17 in the WTA Race but her withdrawal all but ends her chances of appearing in the eight-woman event in Mexico in November.

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