Newly crowned Australian Open champion and the number one female tennis player in the world, Victoria Azarenka has pulled out of the Fed Cup singles match against the United States of America this week, citing back injury problems.

It would have been the first match for the Belarusian player since being crowned the Australian Open champion but the injury in her lower back that has been her chronic problem since her youth days has prevented her from donning the colors of Belarus for the match.

Azarenka breezed through the match against Maria Sharapova in the final of the first Grand Slam of the year, where she was the underdog for most people, defeating the former world number one by a margin of 6-3, 6-0 to win her first major title in professional tennis. The 22 year old has a perfect record in singles in 2012, having not lost a match in singles and boasting a 12-0 record this year and has already won two titles, the other being in Sydney.

In the absence of Victoria Azarenka, Anastasiya Yakimova was drafted in as her replacement at the last minute and she was handsomely beaten by Christina McHale 6-0, 6-4 in the opening singles match before Serena Williams put the Americans in the driving seat by winning her match to give them a 2-0 lead, with three matches still to be played.

Azarenka has been a big crowd puller this year, with her attitude during wins in the Australian Open putting the proverbial icing on top of the cake. Her pulling out of the Fed Cup tie took out the gloss from the match which saw attendances drop considerably for one of the biggest matches in the history of tennis in Belarus and with Victoria Azarenka out, their chances of progressing looks extremely bleak at the moment.