Rome: World number one Victoria Azarenka said on Friday that she was forced by the pressure of WTA rules to play this week's Rome Masters with a shoulder injury.
The top seed, who won her opening match over Shahar Peer and then withdrew citing her medical problem, tweeted that she only played to avoid incurring a penalty to her ranking.
"If WTA rules were different then I could have focused on getting healthy but I could not afford another zero pointer on my ranking," said the Belarussian.
"Hopefully in the future there will be more protection for players rights."
The winner of four titles in 2012 added, "I was conflicted and disappointed to withdraw from Rome. I tried my hardest but I wasn't healthy going into the tournament."
Azarenka now has just over a week to prepare for the start at Roland Garros as she tries to win her second grand slam in a row.
Had Azarenka not played at the Rome event, she would have received a major ranking hit of zero points which would have to become a part of her points calculations.