World No.1 Ashleigh Barty retires from Roland Garros with injury

The Aussie had to retire in the second set of her match against Magda Linette due to a left hip injury on Thursday.

Ashleigh Barty [R] shakes hands with Magda Linette after retiring from the match; Credit: [email protected]

Top seed Ashleigh Barty was forced to retire from her match against Poland’s Magda Linette in the second round of Roland Garros on Thursday owing to an injury. The Aussie revealed following her first-round victory that she injured her left hip days before the tournament began and she was unable to overcome it. Elsewhere, No.4 seed Sofia Kenin ousted fellow American Hailey Baptiste, a qualifier who won four matches in Paris in her French Open debut, 7-5, 6-3. She will next face No.28 seed Jessica Pegula, who won 6-3, 6-3 over Tereza Martincova.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Barty told reporters after the match. “I mean, we have had such a brilliant clay court season, and to kind of get a little bit unlucky with timing more than anything to have something kind of acute happen over the weekend and just kind of run out of time against the clock is disappointing.

“It won’t take away the brilliant three months that we have had, as much as it hurts right now. We did everything, absolutely everything we could to give myself a chance. It was a small miracle that we were able to get on court for that first round.”

Barty once again arrived on court with her left leg wrapped and appeared to struggle from the match’s earliest stages. Despite saving three break points in her first service game to level at 1-1, Linette ran riot after that to win five straight games to wrap up the set in 36 minutes.

Barty received off-court treatment after the first set but it was not enough to keep her going for long. When Linette held serve to make it 6-1, 2-2, Barty knew that her time was up as she walked to the net to shake hands. “I just tried to give myself a chance, tried to give myself a chance and see how it felt,” Barty said.

“Obviously practicing, we’ve had our restrictions and essentially tried to stay as fresh as possible and not aggravate it in any way, but in a match that’s unavoidable at times. It got worse today and it was becoming at the stage where it was unsafe. As hard as it is, it… had to be done. Right from the first game, I was battling the pain, and it just became too severe.”

As a result, the Polish World No.45 is through to the third round, where she’ll next face No.25 seed Ons Jabeur. Barty’s clay season came to an end with a title in Stuttgart, a runner-up finish in Madrid, and a quarterfinal showing in Rome. “[It’s a] completely new injury, and I think something that I’ve never experienced before, even chatting with my physio, not something she has seen regularly either,” Barty said.

“So we’ve been consulting with people all over the world to try and give us some insight into what the best ways to manage it are, to handle it, and I’m confident we do have a plan. It’s just that we ran out of time here. It’s disappointing but not panic stations… We know what’s going on. We just need time to manage it to get back on the court as quickly as we can.”

Sportslumo Desk

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