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Ash Barty Withdraws from 2021 French Open with Injury; Forfeits vs. Magda Linette

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJune 3, 2021

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Ashleigh Barty, the No. 1 seed in the women's 2021 French Open draw, retired from her second-round match against Magda Linette because of injury.

Samuel Petrequin of the Associated Press reported Barty, who entered the tournament with a hip problem, started Thursday's match with her left thigh bandaged, and she struggled with her movement against Linette.

She dropped the first set 6-1, and the second was tied 2-2 when she decided to withdraw from the season's second Grand Slam event.

WTA Insider @WTA_insider

Barty: "We have had -- I mean, I've had my fair share of tears this week. It's all good. Everything happens for a reason. There will be a silver lining in this eventually. Once I find out what that is, it'll make me feel a little bit better. But it will be there, I'm sure." #RG21 pic.twitter.com/HQMyoSE7CW

Barty won the 2019 French Open for her career first major title but opted to skip her title defense last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 25-year-old Australian had played well leading up to this year's tournament, winning the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in April and reaching the final of the Madrid Open in May. However, she was forced to retire from her quarterfinal match in the Italian Open because of an injury in the final warm-up event.

Barty survived a first-round challenge from unseeded Bernarda Pera in the first round at Roland Garros, but she admitted afterward it would be "a little bit tough this week" because of injuries.

"Not going to hide behind the fact I'm not quite 100 percent, but I can guarantee that I will go out there with the right attitude every day and be accepting of that and give it a crack no matter what," she told reporters Tuesday. "It's going to be tough now without a doubt."

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She tried to compete against Linette, but it became clear her typically strong movement was too restricted for her to perform near her usual level.

"I was battling the pain, and it just became too severe, and like I said, [it] was becoming unsafe," Barty said, per Petrequin.

The extent of her hip and thigh injuries are unknown.

Barty will have less than a month to recover if she wants to compete in the next Grand Slam tournament, Wimbledon, beginning June 28 at the All England Club.

She's never advanced beyond the fourth round of the season's final two majors, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, which kicks off Aug. 30.

Another consideration will be the Olympic tennis tournament that starts July 24. Barty is expected to represent Australia in the Games for the first time.

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