Washington, USA: Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova, twice a Grand Slam singles champion, will not defend her title at next week's WTA Washington Open after problems obtaining an entry visa to the United States.
The 34-year-old Russian, ranked 108th in the world, won the 2014 and 2018 Washington titles and is unbeaten in 11 career matches at the US Open hardcourt tuneup event.
"Unfortunately I had to pull out of Washington due to my problems with US visa. (Wanted to apologize to all my fans who were waiting for me there," Kuznetsova tweeted Thursday.
"Never had issues like this in my life, hopefully one day I can finally get a visa and play at least some events of the US swing."
Kuznetsova, the 2004 US Open and 2009 French Open champion, captured her 18th career crown last year by rallying to defeat Croatia's Donna Vekic 4-6, 7-6 (9/7), 6-2 in the championship match.
In 2014, Kuznetsova defeated Japan's Kurumi Nara 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in the Washington final.
Kuznetsova, ousted in this year's first round of Wimbledon and the French Open, has won only one tournament three times in her career -- the Bali, Indonesia, event in 2002, 2004 and 2006.