Amanda Anisimova has been forced to withdraw from the Top Seed Open with an injury to her right shoulder. The fourth seed pulled out of the tournament right before her first-round match against fellow American Cici Bellis on Tuesday.
Italian Francesca di Lorenzo took Anisimova’s place as a lucky loser.
Amanda Anisimova's withdrawal puts a dampener on Lexington's quality field
The Top Seed Open that is being played in Lexington, the United States, is the third tournament being played in the WTA circuit since the women’s tour resumed after the pandemic-forced hiatus.
The tournament is being played concurrently with the Prague Open. Some of the biggest tennis names of the women’s tour have gathered in Lexington to play the event, including 23-time Slam titlist Serena Williams. The former world no.
1 is the top-seed in the American event this week. She, too, is opening her campaign in the tournament on Tuesday against compatriot Bernarda Pera. In quite a hefty field, in the top half, the 38-year-old American has a riveting second-round encounter either against her sister Venus Williams, or her rival Victoria Azarenka.
The two will be playing their first round on Tuesday, as well. Ahead of the tournament, talking about making her way back to competitive tennis, Williams said, “I never expected to be playing here in Kentucky, but it's close to Florida and easy to get here for me, and I'm excited”.
She also said, “There won't be fans here... but it's cool. We've been stuck at home for six months and I've never been home for that long since I was a teenager. Even when I was pregnant, I was traveling a lot to so many different places, so it's been a long time since I've been home that long.
[That] was nice, but it's also a really cool opportunity to come to Kentucky”. Meanwhile, in Lexington, in the first-round matches played on Monday, Belarusian second seed Aryna Sabalenka made it to the second round.
Sabalenka needed three sets to move past another American Madison Brengle 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-2. Earlier, before Amanda Anisimova’s withdrawal, another player had suffered a health scare in the tournament. During her first-round match against the Czech Republic’s Marie Bouzkova, Britain’s Johanna Konta had heart palpitations.
Konta eventually lost the match in three sets to Bouzkova who did not let herself get distracted by her opponent’s health conditions.