MASON, Ohio (Reuters) - World number three Victoria Azarenka pulled out of the Cincinnati Open on Wednesday due to a "right hand strain."

The Belarussian announced she was withdrawing shortly before her second round match against Israeli Shahar Peer.

Azarenka's pull out follows Serena Williams' withdrawal earlier on Wednesday due to a toe injury.

Pauline Parmentier of France took Azarenka's place against Peer.

(Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)