AO Withdrawls Historically Consistent
Before Australia built their new hardcourt tennis facility (pre-1988) and moved to January from December, top ATP and WTA players alike often "skipped" the Australian Open.
Whether it was the grass surface, or the lack of respect given to the Australian Open because of a poor venue provided, ATP and WTA players often gave the Australian Open a "stepchild" designation in spite of being a Grand Slam tournament. If not for cable television and ESPN, the Australian Open wouldn't have been televised in the late 1980's.
For those of us who were fans during this era, it wasn't uncommon for players to conveniently withdrawl.