It’s been a tough start for the WTA in 2016. Four of their top stars have already had to pull out of opening week events.
After withdrawing from her opening tie at the Hopman Cup exo, Serena had to retire in her match earlier today against Jarmila Wolfe down a set 7-5, 2-1 because of the same left knee.
“I just have some inflammation that’s been going away very slowly. It’s going away but it needs a little more time,” Serena said. “Maybe a day off or two will really make the world of difference.”
Serena still holds out hope of continuing in the team competition.
“I’ll see how I feel tomorrow and literally take it a day at a time,” said Serena. “I came all this way to compete and do what I do best and be where I want to be the most, which is on a tennis court.”
— Pam Shriver (@PHShriver) January 5, 2016
In Brisbane, the tournament lost both their top draws. Defending champion Maria Sharapova had to pull out due to a forearm injury before her match with Ekatarina Makarova.
“I hurt my forearm in practice a couple days ago and need to precautionary withdraw with the Australian Open starting soon,” Sharapova said in a statement. “This is such a special event for me, especially being the defending champion. I’m looking forward to seeing all my fans in Brisbane next year.”
Then top seed Simona Halep also was forced out by an Achilles injury.
“I had problems with my Achilles in August/September and then I didn’t feel it anymore. But now I have a couple of weeks already again with the pain,” Halep said. “I thought that I’m ready to play. I came here like I want to play, to start the year here. But I’m not fully fit.
“I cannot have a full match and I thought that it’s more important to be ready and to take a break.”
And in Shenzhen, Petra Kvitova retired due to a stomach illness.
I’m so disappointed to retire in Shenzhen with a stomach virus. I came back to this great tournament with high hopes but unfortunately”, Kvitova tweeted. “I got sick and couldn’t continue. I apologise to the fans and organisers of this fantastic event and I hope to make it up to you next year.”
In addition to the withdrawals, the tour lost several top players on the court. In Auckland, former champions Venus Williams and Ana Ivanovic were upset, and in Brisbane Australian favorite Sam Stosur fell in three. Stosur will have an MRI on a bad wrist later this week.
And this is just Week One!
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