French Open: Barty describes retirement against Linette as 'heartbreaking'

By Sports Desk June 03, 2021

Ashleigh Barty described her retirement from Thursday's second-round clash against Magda Linette at the French Open as "heartbreaking". 

Top seed Barty required medical attention during her first-round win over Bernarda Pera two days earlier, with a hip injury the cause for concern.

The 25-year-old – back at Roland Garros for the first time since winning her maiden grand slam title in Paris in 2019 – vowed to "play through the pain barrier", yet the injury prevented her from continuing when 1-6 2-2 down against her Polish opponent, who will face Ons Jabeur in the next round. 

The Australian's retirement throws the draw wide open, with both of the top seeds now out after Naomi Osaka decided to withdraw amid her disagreement with tournament organisers.

Barty's clay-court season ended with a title in Stuttgart, a runner-up finish in Madrid and an appearance in the quarter-finals in Rome, and she could scarcely hide her disappointment at the way things ended for her in the French capital. 

"It's heartbreaking," she told a media conference. "I mean, we have had such a brilliant clay-court season, and to get a little bit unlucky with timing and have something 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.

"I just tried to give myself a chance and see how it felt. 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."

SVITOLINA CRUISES THROUGH, PLISKOVA DUMPED OUT

Fifth seed Elina Svitolina booked a third-round meeting with Barbora Krejcikova after seeing off Ann Li 6-0 6-4. 

Svitolina landed 74 per cent of her first serves and struck 10 winners to cruise past the American in the opening set. 

Li bounced back in the second, roaring into a 4-1 lead, but Svitolina clawed her way back to ensure she reached at least the third round in seven of her nine appearances at Roland Garros. 

Svitolina, who overturned a 2-5 deficit in the second set to beat Oceane Babel in the first round, said: "In the end, what I'm really happy with is the way that I was down in both matches in the second set and found a way. 

"I found a good level and didn't give up on the second set. That was a really good point for me, and I was really playing composed in both matches. It was two different players, but I was really happy that I could win in two sets in both matches."

Up next is Krejcikova, who overcame Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-2 6-3.

There is no place in the third round for ninth seed Karolina Pliskova, who was soundly beaten 7-5 6-1 by Sloane Stephens, while number 13 seed Jennifer Brady battled past Fiona Ferro 6-1 1-6 6-4. 

KENIN WINS BATTLE OF THE AMERICANS

Fourth seed Sofia Kenin defeated fellow American Hailey Baptiste, a qualifier who won four matches in Paris on her French Open debut, 7-5 6-3. 

Kenin will now face another compatriot in 28th seed Jessica Pegula, who beat Tereza Martincova 6-3 6-3.

Elsewhere, defending champion Iga Swiatek thumped Rebecca Peterson 6-1 6-1, Coco Gauff got the better of Wang Qiang 6-3 7-6 (7-1), and Elise Mertens edged out Zarina Diyas 6-4 2-6 6-4.

Related items

  • BREAKING NEWS: Solskjaer signs new Man Utd contract BREAKING NEWS: Solskjaer signs new Man Utd contract

    Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has signed a new three-year contract, the Premier League club announced on Saturday.

  • Tokyo Olympics: Medvedev hits out at 'joke' changeover times as Djokovic coasts through Tokyo Olympics: Medvedev hits out at 'joke' changeover times as Djokovic coasts through

    Daniil Medvedev says it is a "joke" that players do not have longer at changeovers but will not "cry about the heat" after coming through his Tokyo 2020 opener, while Novak Djokovic started at a canter as he looks to add the next step of a Golden Slam.

    Representing the Russian Olympic Committee, Medvedev appeared fatigued at times in his 6-4 7-6 (10-8) triumph over Kazakhstan's Alexander Bublik at the Ariake Tennis Park.

    The conditions in the Japanese capital were sweltering on Saturday but Novak Djokovic was able to keep his cool in coasting to a 6-2 6-2 win against Hugo Dellien.

    MEDVEDEV CALLS FOR MORE TIME

    Medvedev, who saved three of four break points and now has a 3-0 head-to-head record over Bublik, was pretty pointed about what he feels should be done about the heat.

    "Like they do in Mexico, the matches maybe should start at six (pm) because the heat actually gets much, much lighter. We all try to practise at six," said Olympics debutant Medvedev, who next plays Sumit Nagal.

    "The fact that we have only one minute between changeovers is a joke. If you ask, let's say 200 tennis players that are here, I think 195 will tell you that one minute is a joke. It should be 1:30.

    "But you have to play, that's the Olympics, you go for the medal. You're not here to cry about the heat. It was really tough for both of us. We talked about this after the match on the court. It was unbelievably hot. But you need to get through it."

    Fellow Russian athlete Aslan Karatsev (11) defeated Tommy Paul 6-3 6-2 to set up a meeting with Jeremy Chardy, while Lorenzo Sonego (13), Ugo Humbert (14), Fabio Fognini (15) and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (16) all progressed.

    DJOKOVIC UP AND RUNNING

    Since winning bronze in Beijing 13 years ago, Djokovic has not had the best of luck at the Olympics – losing in 2012 and 2016 to Juan Martin del Potro on both occasions.

    But with a host of big hitters from the ATP absent – including Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal – Djokovic is the overwhelming favourite in Tokyo.

    Only Steffi Graf in 1988 from either the WTA or ATP Tour has ever completed a sweep of all four slams and an Olympic gold in a calendar year, and Djokovic needs Olympic gold and victory at the US Open to match the feat.

    He needed just 61 minutes here to beat Dellien of Bolivia.

    MURRAY SCORES UPSET DOUBLES WIN

    Andy Murray is the two-time defending men's singles champion in Tokyo, but struggles with injuries mean it would take a herculean effort to make it three in a row.

    But he is also representing Great Britain in the doubles and together with Joe Salisbury upset French second seeds Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut 6-3 6-2 in their first time competing with one another.

    Murray is not looking too far ahead, though, saying: "You take one match at a time, you know, so a lot of the players here are really motivated to play for their country. 

    "This is such a rare opportunity for all of us and I think we all want to do well. So, yeah, just take it one match at a time."

  • Devers leads Red Sox past Yankees, Mets blank Blue Jays Devers leads Red Sox past Yankees, Mets blank Blue Jays

    Whatever the Boston Red Sox had in mind heading into Friday's showdown with Gerrit Cole and the New York Yankees, it did not include their own starting pitcher leaving the game after recording just three outs.

    Even after Eduardo Rodriguez was forced to leave the game in the second inning due to what the team described as migraine symptoms, the Red Sox had enough firepower to defeat their rivals 6-2 at Fenway Park.

    After Rodriguez's unexpectedly early exit, Phillips Valdez stepped in to get out of a second-inning jam and strike out seven in three scoreless innings of relief on the day he was called up from the minor leagues.

    Rafael Devers gave the home side the lead with a two-run homer off Cole in the fifth and added a three-run shot against Nestor Cortes in the seventh to put the game away. The latter was the 100th home run of Devers' career.

     

    Mets blank Blue Jays

    Pete Alonso accounted for all of the New York Mets' runs with a pair of homers and Tylor Megill had the best start of his career with six shutout innings in a 3-0 defeat of the Toronto Blue Jays.

    The Colorado Rockies picked up their 10th road win in 44 games away from Coors Field this season, rallying to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-6 as Charlie Blackmon had three hits incluing the extra-inning homer that sealed the victory.

    Nelson Cruz homered in his first game after being traded to Tampa Bay and Ji-Man Choi's three-run homer in the ninth blew open a close game as the Rays beat the Cleveland Indians 10-5.

     

    Rangers pounded again

    Kolby Allard surrendered a three-run homer to Kyle Tucker to cap a five-run third inning for the Houston Astros that helped send the Texas Rangers to a 7-3 loss, their 10th consecutive defeat. The Rangers have been outscored 73-18 in that span and have not held a lead for 86 straight innings. According to Stats Perform, that drought is the longest since the Atlanta Braves went 96 innings without a lead in April and May 1977.

     

    Brewers slam White Sox

    In a matchup of NL and AL Central division leaders, the Milwaukee Brewers got a boost from Tyrone Taylor's seventh-inning grand slam to down the Chicago White Sox 7-1.

     

    Friday's results

    Chicago Cubs 8-3 Arizona Diamondbacks
    Tampa Bay Rays 10-5 Cleveland Indians
    Philadelphia Phillies 5-1 Atlanta Braves
    Boston Red Sox 6-2 New York Yankees
    New York Mets 3-0 Toronto Blue Jays
    Baltimore Orioles 6-1 Washington Nationals
    San Diego Padres 5-2 Miami Marlins
    Cincinnati Reds 6-5 St Louis Cardinals
    Kansas City Royals 5-3 Detroit Tigers
    Minnesota Twins 5-4 Los Angeles Angels
    Milwaukee Brewers 7-1 Chicago White Sox
    Houston Astros 7-3 Texas Rangers
    Seattle Mariners 4-3 Oakland Athletics
    Pittsburgh Pirates 6-4 San Francisco Giants
    Colorado Rockies 9-6 Los Angeles Dodgers

    White Sox at Brewers

    A pair of All-Star pitchers go head-to-head as Carlos Rodon and the Chicago White Sox (58-39) continue their series against Corbin Burnes and the Milwaukee Brewers (57-41).

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.