Recovering Safarova to skip Hopman Cup

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World number nine Lucie Safarova said she would skip the Hopman Cup in Perth in January to recover from a bacterial infection that saw her hospitalized for a week in September. She added that 11th-ranked Karolina Pliskova would replace her to team up with world No.41 Jiri Vesely for the January 3-9 mixed team event. Safarova, who played the French Open finals last year before catching the infection, said she wanted to get ready to “start next season at the Australian Open” later next month. After the infection, Safarova returned to tennis in time to play at the WTA Finals in Singapore in October, where she failed to make it past the group stage.                 AFP

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