The former world number three’s mother, Nadezhda Ilyina, was killed in an accident near Moscow on December 7.
Ilyina, a successful athlete herself, won bronze in the 4x400m relay at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal as well as holding the USSR record in both the 400m and the 4x400m relay. Ilyina was also a former world record holder for the indoor 400m.
“Our condolences to Nadia Petrova who has withdrawn from the Australian Open following the tragic loss of her mother,” Australian Open organisers said in a statement.
Fellow Russian Maria Kirilenko has also withdrawn from the tournament with injury, handing world number 108 Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria a place in the main draw.