Linda Fruhvirtová became the youngest female player to make the fourth round of the Miami Open ©Getty Images

Former world number one Victoria Azarenka stormed off court after abruptly quitting her third-round match against 16-year-old Linda Fruhvirtová at the Miami Open.

The Belarusian, who was competing as a neutral, was trailing 6-2, 3-0 against the world number 279 of the Czech Republic when she decided to retire.

After 45 minutes of play, the 32-year-old double Australian Open champion surprisingly shook the umpire’s hands before walking off the court.

Azarenka, who claimed singles bronze and mixed doubles gold at London 2012, released a statement after the match to explain the reason behind her abrupt exit.

"I shouldn't have gone on the court today," said Azarenka.

"The last few weeks have been extremely stressful in my personal life.

"Last match took so much out of me, but I wanted to play in front of a great audience as they helped me pull through my first match.

"I wanted to go out there and try but it was a mistake.

"I always look forward to the challenge and pressure of competition but today it was too much.

"I have to and will learn from this."

Victoria Azarenka said she was going through an
Victoria Azarenka said she was going through an "extremely stressful" period in her personal life ©Getty Images

Fruhvirtová became the youngest female player to reach the last 16 and will now face Spanish fifth seed Paula Badosa who cruised to a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan.

"Playing against Vika was definitely cool," said Fruhvirtová.

"She was one of the players I grew up watching and she was definitely one of the players to look up to for me, so it was an honour to be on the court with her.

"I saw it wasn’t her best tennis.

"Of course, I didn’t want it to end this way, because Vika is one of the players I grew up watching and she is definitely one to look up to - I wish that she feels better as soon as possible."

Fresh from securing her place as world number one, Poland’s Iga Świątek continued her stunning form with a 6-0, 6-3 thrashing of Madison Brengle of the United States.

Świątek has set up a meeting with American 14th seed Coco Gauff who battled past China’s Shuai Zhang with a 7-6, 7-5 triumph.

Ukraine’s Anhelina Kalinina came from a set down to defeat Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia 2-6, 6-4, 6-2.

Other winners in the women’s singles third-round matches were Petra Kvitova of the Czech Repulic, Jessica Pegula of the US and Russian Veronika Kudermetova who was playing as a neutral.

In the men’s singles, last year’s Miami Open finalist Jannik Sinner of Italy saved five match points in his 5-7, 7-5, 7-5 victory over Spain’s Pablo Carreño Busta.

Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis also had to show great determination to beat American Denis Kudla as he triumphed 7-6, 4-6, 7-6.

Nick Kyrgios will join his compatriot in the fourth round after producing a superb display to see off Italian Fabio Fognini 6-2, 6-4.

There was mixed emotions for the Cerundolo family as Francisco Cerundolo beat Gaël Monfils of France 6-2, 6-3 but Juan Manuel Cerundolo lost to American Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 6-2.

Britain’s Cameron Norrie downed Frenchman Hugo Gaston 6-3, 7-5, while German second seed Alexander Zverev overcame Mackenzie McDonald of the US 6-2, 6-2 and Norway’s Casper Ruud got the better of Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik, winning 6-3, 6-2.

Competition is due to continue tomorrow.