Wednesday’s results on the women’s side at the US Open were overshadowed by the collapse of No. 10 seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, who slumped to the court during her match against Argentine Gisela Dulko and had to be taken off the court in a wheelchair to the hospital.
Rather than a collapse related to the searing heat in New York, it was revealed that the 21-year-old had, before the match, fell and hit her head in the gym, and hospital tests showed a mild concussion.
“I was checked by the medical team before I went on court and they were courtside for monitoring,” Azarenka said. “I felt worse as the match went on, having a headache and feeling dizzy.”
Azarenka was one of five seeds exiting the US Open on Wednesday. French wildcard Virginie Razzano upset No. 13 seed and countrywoman Marion Bartoli; former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic continued her resurgent play with a 6-3, 6-0 win over No. 21 Zheng Jie of China; Italian Sara Errani topped No. 28 Alisa Kleybanova; and Luxembourg qualifier Mandy Minella shocked No. 32 Tsvetana Pironkova 6-4, 6-0.
“I really felt I found my form in Cincinnati and was playing well, and then had to pull out in the semis [with injury] and then was out of the court for 10 days,” Ivanovic said. “I was not too happy about coming to the Open with such a break, but just very happy that I’m pain free now and I can actually compete.”
Top 10 seeds advancing Wednesday, all in straight sets, were (2) Kim Clijsters over Aussie qualifier Sally Peers, (3) Venus Williams over Canadian qualifier Rebecca Marino after a first-set tiebreak, (5) Samantha Stosur defeating Aussie Anastasia Rodionova, and (6) Francesca Schiavone finally emerging from her post-French Open party haze, rolling qualifier and countrywoman Maria Elena Camerin.
In other seeded action (24) Daniela Hantuchova came from a set down to defeat American Vania King, and (29) Alona Bondarenko sent 2009 quarterfinalist Melanie Oudin’s ranking spiraling.
“It was like the second I got out there, I did feel really tight,” Oudin told reporters after the match. “I think the nerves got the best of me today a little bit, especially in the first set. Second set I started playing a lot better, making the points a little bit longer. But, yeah, the first set definitely, uhm, I kind of like the crowd was like really, really loud. It was just like a lot. The second I got out there, I guess it kind of overwhelmed me a little bit.”
Thursday’s highlights are (1) Caroline Wozniacki vs. Taipei’s Kai-Chen Chang, (14) Maria “Shaza!” Sharapova vs. Iveta Benesova, (4) Jelena Jankovic vs. former phenom Mirjana Lucic, (18) Aravane Rezai vs. American Beatrice Capra, German Julia “Gorgeous” Goerges vs. (15) Yanina Wickmayer, (22) Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez vs. Swiss veteran Patty Schnyder, and (9) Agnieszka Radwanska vs. Shuai Peng.
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