Tennis - It wasn't a good day for the Russian women in Sofia at the WTA Tournament of Champions. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova went down in straight sets to top seed Simona Halep and then Maria Kirilenko was forced to withdraw from the event after retiring in her first match against Frenchwoman Alize Cornet.
Kirilenko was down 0-5 in the first set against Cornet when she decided to stop due to an injury to her left knee and then she subsequently withdrew from the event. She will be replaced by Ukranian teenager Elina Svitolina in the draw.
Kirielnko commented later, "I just want to say that I can't continue playing this tournament. During the match I made a wrong step and felt pain in my knee - I feel so much pain right now that I can't continue here. Before the match it was fine - it happened during the match."
How to play from the baseline
The expression “to endure the rally” is about those indeterminate moments of a rally where none of the players is leading.
The ability to endure the rally is fundamental when you play a “long rally”, because it offers you the chance to measure your opponent’s strong points and vulnerabilities, besides letting you position as best as possible for your next offensive shot.