French Open: Top seed Barty retires hurt at Roland Garros

By Sports Desk June 03, 2021

Ashleigh Barty's French Open campaign came to an end in sad circumstances on Thursday as the world number one was forced to retire hurt when 1-6 2-2 down against Magda Linette.

Barty required medical attention during her first-round win over Bernarda Pera two days earlier, with a hip injury a 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 proved too much to deal with on Thursday.

Barty'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 discomfort seemed evident from the off, though Linette did have to fend off an immediate break point to hold in the first game.

The Australian had to claw back three break points on her first serve, however, and a double fault in game four handed Linette the first break, with Barty clearly struggling when attempting to twist to her right.

A lame backhand into the net gifted Linette another break, and the Pole served out the set at the first time of asking with just 36 minutes on the clock.

After a lengthy delay in which she received treatment both on court and back in the changing rooms, Barty returned with seemingly renewed vigour to hold the first game of set two with relative ease.

Linette, though, kept her composure, with a couple of aces helping her level things up, and despite winning the next game thanks to her speed of serve, Barty was grimacing again.

Some excellent returns from Barty kept Linette at bay, but the world number 45 struck a powerful serve down the middle to make it 2-2, and that proved the final straw for her opponent, who shook hands at the net and, with a wave to the crowd, trudged down the tunnel.

DATA SLAM: BARTY'S BRAVE FACE NOT ENOUGH

Linette has claimed one of the biggest wins of her career, though the 29-year-old would have wished for it to come in more glorious circumstances. Barty tried her best to continue, but the injury was having too much of an impact on the key parts of her game – she made four double faults to Linette's zero, and tallied up 18 unforced errors, double the amount of her opponent.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Barty – 9/18
Linette – 12/9

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Barty – 2/4
Linette – 4/0

BREAK POINTS WON
Barty – 0/1
Linette – 2/7

Related items

  • Parks stuns French favourite Garcia to win Lyon Open title Parks stuns French favourite Garcia to win Lyon Open title

    Fast-rising American Alycia Parks pulled off a stunning victory over world number five and home favourite Caroline Garcia in the Lyon Open final on Sunday.

    Playing her first final on the main WTA tour, Parks earned a 7-6 (9-7) 7-5 win against last season's WTA Finals champion.

    The Atlanta-born world number 79 won two titles at lower-tier WTA 125 events in December, triumphing in Andorra and the French city of Angers while many players were enjoying an off-season.

    Yet this week has been a step up from that level, and 22-year-old Parks capped her run to the final by taking down the top seed and darling of the crowd.

    "This title means a lot to me," Parks said. "France has a special part in my heart right now."

    A to-and-fro tie-break in the opening set eventually went Parks' way after a stray forehand from Garcia.

    A painful fall when running to her right on the baseline meant Parks needed medical attention early in the second set, but she was able to carry on.

    Garcia tried to rouse the crowd after clinging to her serve in the eighth game to stay on level terms, and there were unsporting cheers for a double fault from Parks at the start of the ninth.

    Yet Parks was not knocked out of her stride, with the player who stood 199th on the rankings at this time last year completing the biggest win of her career when Garcia sent down a double fault on match point.

  • 'Djokovic is the best' – Thiem rules Federer and Nadal out of tennis' 'GOAT' debate 'Djokovic is the best' – Thiem rules Federer and Nadal out of tennis' 'GOAT' debate

    Dominic Thiem insists Novak Djokovic must be regarded as the greatest tennis player of all time, ruling Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal out of contention.

    Despite a hamstring issue, Djokovic became the joint-most successful male player in grand slam history last week as he moved level with Nadal on 22 titles following his record-extending 10th Australian Open triumph. 

    Along with retired 20-time major winner Federer, Djokovic and Nadal find themselves in the long-running debate to determine the greatest player in history.

    But 2020 US Open champion Thiem, who believes the number of major wins must be the decisive factor in the conversation, is confident Djokovic will soon leave his two great rivals firmly behind.

    "In my opinion, the grand slam titles should be the defining criteria when determining the best of all time, they are the four most important tournaments in tennis," the Austrian said.

    "Everything else is fine, but it's not the same. The slams are what counts, so the GOAT will probably be the one with the most grand slams.

    "I am not very surprised [by Djokovic's Melbourne triumph]. Djokovic still looks young – physically and mentally, because of the way he moves on the court. It's like he was 25 years old.

    "We have to be honest, he is the best, so his victory was not very surprising."

  • Zhu clinches maiden WTA title with Thailand Open win over Tsurenko Zhu clinches maiden WTA title with Thailand Open win over Tsurenko

    Zhu Lin captured her first singles title on the WTA Tour with a 6-4 6-4 victory over Lesia Tsurenko in Sunday's Thailand Open final in Hua Hin.

    Zhu, playing in her first Tour-level final at the age of 29, produced a polished display against the Ukrainian, who had toppled top seed Bianca Andreescu in the last four.

    Tsurenko got off to a miserable start as Zhu broke in the first game, but she soon responded with a break of her own in a topsy-turvy opening set.

    Six of the last seven games played in the opener resulted in breaks of serve, with Zhu coming out on top before taking charge in the second.

    Zhu was in the ascendency after three successive breaks when she forced her first championship point with a big forehand winner to end an epic rally, though Tsurenko recovered to force yet another break as the momentum shifted again.

    However, Zhu, who will move into the top 50 of the world rankings as a result of her successful campaign in Thailand, hit back once more before converting her third championship point with an emphatic forehand to seal her maiden title.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.