Lucie Safarova will face either 14th-seeded Elina Svitolina or unseeded Caroline Garcia in the quarter-finals of the Cincinnati Open following Belinda Bencic’s withdrawal after one set today.
The 12th-ranked Swiss teenager who beat Serena Williams and Simona Halep on her way to the Toronto trophy last weekend, lasted only 33 minutes, receiving treatment midway through the set on her right arm.
“I don’t think it’s very serious”, Bencic said. “It was the first time I retired a match, so it didn’t feel very good. The change of balls and I played a lot of matches, I think that it’s just too much pressure”, she said. “I hope it gets better”.
In men’s action, Ivo Karlovic double-faulted on match point, and fifth-seeded Stan Wawrinka pulled out a grueling 6-7 (2), 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5) win.
Wawrinka, the reigning French Open champion, had to overcome 35 aces by Karlovic to reach the quarterfinals for the second straight year.
“It’s just muscular, I’m very tight through the forearm”. In heat just short of killing, he still had spring in those crane-like, 36-year-old legs to win the first set tie-break for the loss of only two points.
It was the first time Azarenka retired mid-match since August 2012, with the world number 21 telling her coach she felt the problem was “getting worse” before indicating she would play no further part.
He complained of fatigue this week and some of that has been mental after the saga with Nick Kyrgios that began in Montreal and which Wawrinka is desperate to put behind him.