Tennis - Playing her first WTA level event since 2015, former World No. 2 Vera Zvonareva was forced to pull out of the second round qualifying match at the WTA Connnecticut Open in New Haven due to an Achilles heel injury.
The 32-year-old Russian was playing against Slovakian Magdalena Rybarikova, who had just reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon, and had lost the first set 5-7 when she decided to retire from the match. It was the second match of the day for the players as rain had led to the cancellation of matches on Friday.
Speaking after the loss, Zvonareva said, "I didn't feel great. It was a very hot, humid day. We had to play twice, and for [Zvonareva], it was even worse. But I've always played well here. I like the venue a lot, and parts of [New Haven] are really nice.
I wanted to get in shape after having my baby, but I knew it would be difficult to push myself to go to the gym every day. I decided I could go to the gym one day and play tennis another day. I did some exhibition matches and kept training, and knew I had to play somewhere.
Right now, my goal is to get healthy in time for the U.S. Open qualifications. Once I'm finished there, I'll be happy to go home and see my family. Maybe I'll play [in future tournaments], but it all depends on how my family and I feel." In her first round match, Zvonareva had beaten Austrian Anastasia Rodionova 2-6, 6-3, 6-1.
In other matches, American Christina McHale beat Misaki Doi of Japan 6-4, 7-6 (2); Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republicdefeated Viktoriya Tomova of Bulgaria, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 and Slovak Jana Cepelova beat Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania, 6-2, 7-6 (3).
Rybarikova will meet Belgian Kirsten Flipkens in the first round while McHale will meet Cepelova for a place in the final round. Also Read - Melanie Oudin retires from tennis at the age of 25 .