Leg cramps forced Garbine Muguruza to retire from her Brisbane International second-round clash on Tuesday.
The world No.2 and two-time Grand Slam champion led Serbia’s Aleksandra Krunic – ranked 51 spots lower than the Spaniard – 7-5 6-7(3) 2-1 in an epic encounter before collapsing to the ground in tears clutching her leg at a humid Pat Rafter Arena.
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The top seed admitted she was unsure of her next move after pulling out of the Brisbane tournament – her only scheduled event before the year’s opening Grand Slam in Melbourne.
“Honestly, I have no idea yet,” the 24-year-old reigning Wimbledon champion said.
“I didn’t expect to, you know, to not continue here.
“But I think I’m going to evaluate what options do I have now… maybe just go right away to Melbourne.”
Muguruza – the reigning WTA Player of the Year – had hoped to reclaim the world No.1 ranking she held for four weeks in 2017 by making the Brisbane final.
Instead the Spaniard was forced to withdraw from the Brisbane tournament for the fourth straight year due to injury.
Muguruza said she felt her calves tightening early in the second set but dug deep to grab a break and lead 2-1 in the deciding third.
However, the Spaniard’s match was over after she fell to the ground in agony grabbing her leg while attempting to make a backhand return.
She received medical treatment before deciding to pull the pin, ensuring Krunic became the first through to the Brisbane quarterfinals.
Krunic will next play Samantha Stosur’s first round conqueror, seventh seed Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia, who downed Romania’s Sorana Cirstea 6-2 6-1 on Tuesday.
“I don’t really cramp a lot, so I’m actually surprised that today my body was like that,” Muguruza said.
“It’s a shame because I always come here excited about the first tournament, and this one was bad luck, I guess.”
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