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Friday July 19, 2024

Sabalenka and Jabeur join Berlin injury list

By AFP
June 23, 2024
Aryna Sabalenka on June 22, 2024.  — x/Sabanewsss
Aryna Sabalenka on June 22, 2024. — x/Sabanewsss

BERLIN: Aryna Sabalenka and Ons Jabeur joined the procession of injured stars limping off the Berlin grass as they retired Saturday while losing their delayed quarterfinals in the Wimbledon warm-up event.

Second-seeded Belarusian Sabalenka retired against unseeded Russian Anna Kalinskaya trailing 5-1 in the first set, in one of the quarterfinals pushed back to Saturday morning by rain on Friday.

Eighth-seeded Jabeur had gone toe-to-toe with top seed Coco Gauff before losing a one-hour 14 minute first set tiebreak 11/9 before packing her rackets in her bag and walking off. "It doesn´t feel like a win," said Gauff on court. "Especially as we had such a great first set."

"It´s not the way you want to finish a match, especially with someone who is so nice on and off the court."

Gauff said the Tunisian had indicated she was not seriously injured.

"I know she´s going to feel better tomorrow and should be fine for Wimbledon."

Trailing 4-1, Sabalenka called a medical timeout to have her shoulder and neck treated. She played on for one game before stopping. It was the first time the Belarusian had retired injured in a WTA tournament, said the women´s tennis body.

"I played really good. I had a good start. I´m happy to be in the semifinals," Kalinskaya said. "I´m happy to have three matches (here), fourth one on grass. That gives me confidence." On Thursday, reigning Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova retired with a right hip injury from her second-round match, also against Kalinskaya.