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World number one Ashleigh Barty has withdrawn from her second-round match against Magda Linette at the French Open due to injury.
The Australian, who won the title in 2019, decided to call time when she was 6-1 2-2 down against Magda Linette in the second round as a result of an injury to her left hip.
Barty, who had been pushed to three sets by the world No 70 Bernarda Pera in the first round, had made it clear she was entering the contest not being 100 per cent fit.
The Australian said she would “give it a crack no matter what”, however, the treatment she received at the end of the first set clearly did not alleviate her discomfort.
With the Wimbledon Championships starting in 25 days, attention will quickly turn to whether or not Barty will be fit to take part and compete on the grass.
It’s a Grand Slam that she has not won, with her best result – reaching the round of 16 – coming in 2019 off the back of her Roland Garros title.
World number 45 Linette, who had never beaten a top 10 player – faces Tunisian world number 26 Ons Jabeur next.
Following Naomi Osaka’s withdrawal on Monday, Belarusian third seed Aryna Sabalenka is the highest-ranked player left in the women’s draw.
Barty during her post-match press conference said: “It’s heart-breaking. We have had such a brilliant clay-court season and to get a little bit unlucky with timing more than anything, to 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.”
The hip injury itself happened during a training session when she landed after a serve, and the world No 1 then explained why she chose to pull the plug on the match when she did.
“I just tried to give myself a chance and see how it felt. Obviously practising 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.”