The 2017 champion is the fifth withdrawal from the tournament since the main draw was made, and follows names such as Caroline Wozniacki also suffering a viral illness and Caroline Garcia, afflicted by a left leg injury.
“I had a temperature few days,” says Katerina Pliskova, the 2017 champion “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 is coming off a gruelling Fed Cup first-round tie last weekend in which the Czech team narrowly lost 3-2 to Romania at home in Ostrava – where she said the symptoms had started. “Already the day after Fed Cup, I felt after I played my match with Halep, which was super long and tough, so I just felt somehow exhausting,” she told the press. “From the first day in Doha I was not feeling great and not ready. I have never felt actually this way. 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.”