Ashleigh Barty admits it is “heartbreaking” to be forced out of the French Open through injury.
The top seed retired hurt early in the second set of her second round match with Poland’s Magda Linette, having picked up a hip injury just before the start of Roland Garros.
Barty looked in pain from the start and dropped the opening set 6-1, before the 2019 champion received lengthy treatment off court for the problem. The Australian tried to continue but eventually gave in to the pain at 2-2.
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Highlights: Barty retires hurt v Linette
“It's heartbreaking. We've had such a brilliant clay-court season and to kind of get unlucky with timing with an acute injury,” said Barty.
It’s a tough one. For something acute to happen over the weekend, it was a small miracle we were able to get on court for the first round.
It could not have happened at a worse time for Barty, who was one of the main challengers to Iga Swiatek’s throne. There are just three and a half weeks before the start of Wimbledon, with two more major tournaments to come in the next three months - the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the US Open.
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The world number one says the injury completely came out of the blue and is not something she has dealt with in the past, but will do everything she can to give herself the best possible chance of playing a part in the grass court season.
"We did absolutely everything we could to give myself a chance. It sucks. But now, (I'll work) on a recovery as soon as possible.
"It's disappointing but no panic, we know what's going on and we're going to work to be back on the court as soon as possible."
Barty had been due to begin the grass court swing at the newly revamped German Open, which starts on June 14.
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Watch all the action from the 2021 French Open live on Eurosport, eurosport.co.uk and the Eurosport app with 13-time champion Rafael Nadal eyeing a remarkable 14th title at his favourite event and 2020 Roland Garros sensation Iga Swiatek aiming to replicate her stunning triumph.
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