Posted on

Serena retires early in China

SHERRYLYN CLARKE, [email protected]

Serena retires early in China

Social Share

WUHAN, China (AP) – Top-ranked Serena Williams lost in the second round of the Wuhan Open, retiring after 11 games today and dropping a third match to Alize Cornet this year.

Williams, who won the U.S. Open just over two weeks ago, had just converted a break point for a 6-5 lead when she asked for treatment beside the court. Organisers later said Williams withdrew due to a viral illness.

Cornet beat Williams at Dubai in February and had a third-round win at Wimbledon. The Frenchwoman is the first player since Justine Henin in 2007 to beat Williams three times in year, the WTA said, and has improved to 3-3 in career meetings with the most dominant woman in tennis.

The tournament’s top two players were eliminated within hours, with Williams exiting after Garbine Muguruza of Spain beat No. 2-ranked Simona Halep of Romania 2-6, 6-2, 6-3.

Muguruza, who beat Williams in the second round at the last French Open, dropped the first set in 35 minutes but rallied to win the first four games of the second set and the last four games of the third to advance at the inaugural Wuhan Open.

It was a bad day for seeds on other courts, too. No. 10 Jelena Jankovic was trailing 4-1 when she retired against American player Coco Vandeweghe due to a back problem.

Alison Riske of the United States recovered an early break to beat No. 11 Sara Errani of Italy 6-4, 6-4, Swiss qualifier Timea Bacsinszky defeated No. 13 Ekaterina Makarova 6-4, 6-1, and Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic had a 6-4, 6-4 win over No. 16 Andrea Petkovic of Germany.

Eighth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki, however, held off Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (4).