Defending champion Simona Halep was forced to withdraw from her Italian Open match against Angelique Kerber after suffering a calf tear which casts doubt on whether she will be fit for the French Open later this month.
World No 3 Halep had taken the first set 6-1 on Wednesday, but with the score at 3-3 in the second the Romanian pulled up and needed assistance walking back to her chair.
Halep then received medical attention, but unable to continue she forfeited the match as Kerber progressed to the last 16, where she will play Jeļena Ostapenko.
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Halep said she will have an MRI scan on Thursday and will await those results before putting a timeframe on her return.
"Unfortunately an ultrasound has revealed that I have a tear in my left calf," Halep said on Twitter.
I will get an MRI tomorrow to understand the injury in more detail, but at the moment we are unsure of recovery time. I’m so disappointed to end my tournament in Rome like this... but I will do everything I can to take care of the injury and be back as soon as possible. Thanks so much for your support and I’ll keep you posted on my progress.
In what was an abrupt end to the pair’s 14th meeting, Kerber sat next to Halep and consoled the 29-year-old after her withdrawal.
Kerber then aided her opponent by carrying her equipment off the court as Halep continued to struggle to put weight on her left leg.
Halep’s injury falls under three weeks before the start of the French Open, which gets under way on May 30.
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She had been named favourite to win at Roland Garros, having last won there in 2018, but the injury has seen her odds fall with defending champion Iga Swiatek now deemed the frontrunner.
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