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Fri, 4 Jun, 2021

"Heartbreaking": Ash Barty opens up on abrupt exit from French Open

"Heartbreaking": Ash Barty opens up on abrupt exit from French Open

Ash Barty’s first French Open since her 2019 win has come to a tragic end, with the world No. 1 forced to retire in the second round against world No. 45 Magda Linette.

With a hip issue that was apparent from the opening service game, the tennis star was not in her best condition.

Barty only landed 39 percent of her first serves while Linette easily claimed the first set 6-1, and the match came to an end at 2-2 in the second round.

Barty’s thigh has been heavily strapped throughout the season and began giving her problems in the first round at Roland Garros.

The Queenslander pulled out of the tournament, saying her injury had become “unsafe” and that it was “a miracle I got through the first round”.

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“It’s heartbreaking,” Barty said in her post-match press conference. “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 run out of time against the clock is disappointing.

“For my body to let me down is really disheartening.

“We did nothing wrong in the lead-up. There were no red flags. It was just an acute episode, which is tough,” she explained.

“It won’t take away the brilliant three months that we have had, as much as it hurts right now.

“It’s disappointing to end like this. I’ve had my fair share of tears this week. It’s all good.

“Everything happens for a reason. There will be a silver lining in this eventually. Once I find out what that is, it’ll make me feel a little bit better, but it will be there, I’m sure.”

Barty revealed the injury flared up after landing “on serve one day, and that’s all she wrote”.

“[It’s a] completely new injury, and something that I’ve never experienced before, even chatting with my physio, not something she has seen regularly either,” Barty said.

“So we’ve been consulting with people all over the world to try and give us some insight into what the best ways to manage it are, to handle it, and I’m confident we do have a plan. It’s just that we ran out of time here.”

With the external help, Barty and her physio are doing all they can to prepare her for Wimbledon, which starts on June 28.

Following the withdrawal of both world No. 2 Naomi Osaka and world No. 3 Simona Halep leaves fourth-ranked Aryna Sabalenka as the top remaining player in the game.