Chinese star Zheng Jie has been ruled out of the Australian Open after failing to shake off a wrist injury.

2155 - Zheng ruled out of Australian Open

The first major of the year is a little over a month away and the top players are stepping up their preparations after the winter break.

Zheng made it to the semi-finals in 2010, but she will not have a chance to back up the effort as she is still being troubled by a wrist complaint that has sidelined her since the US Open.

"It's a hard decision for me to make," the 27-year-old wrote on Twitter. "But I believe there will be more Australian Opens for me to attend if I can regain my health."

The Australian Open begins in Melbourne on January 17 and there will be a new champion, with Serena Williams unable to defend her title on account of injury.