Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)

Barty retires injured from French Open

- Agence France-presse

Top seed Ashleigh Barty retired injured midway through the second set of her French Open second-round match against Poland’s Magda Linette on Thursday.

The Australian, who won the title on her last visit to Roland Garros in 2019, left the court for medical treatment after losing the first set 6-1.

She had struggled with a hip problem during her first-round win and called it quits at 2-2 in the second set on Court Philippe Chatrier.

“It’s going to be a little bit tough this week. I think over the weekend we had a bit of a flare-up through my left hip,” she said after beating Bernarda Pera in three sets on Tuesday.

Barty also retired injured from the Italian Open during her quarter-final against Coco Gauff last month.

The 25-year-old’s withdrawal leaves the tournament already without the world’s top threeranke­d women’s players.

World number two Naomi Osaka stunned the sport by pulling out following a media boycott, saying she has suffered “bouts of depression” for three years. Third-ranked Simona Halep, the 2018 French Open winner, withdrew before the event with injury.

That leaves world number four Aryna Sabalenka as the top remaining player in the draw, despite the Belarusian never having reached a Grand Slam quarter-final.

Unseeded Linette will face Tunisian 25th seed Ons Jabeur in the last 32

Meanwhile, last year’s runner-up Sofia Kenin eased into the third round with a 7-5 6-3 victory over fellow American Hailey Baptiste as her claycourt form continued to improve.

The fourth seed, who has been struggling this season, notably losing all of her three matches on clay before Roland Garros, will next face another American, 28th seed Jessica


Kenin made 18 unforced errors in an unconvinci­ng firstset display but broke decisively in the 11th game as she bagged seven games in a row to open up a 4-0 lead in the second.

The 2020 Australian Open champion, however, suffered a dip in concentrat­ion and allowed her opponent to win three consecutiv­e games before regaining her composure to wrap it up in straight sets on Court 14.

World number six Elina Svitolina wasted little time in advancing to the third round with a 6-0 6-4 demolition of American Ann Li.

Svitolina, seeking her maiden Grand Slam title, stormed out of the blocks to break Li’s serve in the opening game before dictating play from the baseline to consolidat­e her lead.

World number 75 Li struggled to create opportunit­ies to break the 26-year-old Ukrainian, who won 12 of her 14 firstserve points to claim an opening-set bagel in just 29 minutes on Court Suzanne-lenglen.

Li got on the scoreboard early in the second set and opened up a surprise 3-0 lead with a string of blistering forehands.

But Svitolina soon found another gear as she reeled off five straight games to book a place in the third round in an hour and 14 minutes.

Covid scare

French Open organisers said on Wednesday that a men’s doubles team had tested positive for Covid-19 and been removed from the tournament.

The two players were not named by organisers. “The Roland Garros tournament organisers confirm that two players from the men’s doubles draw, on the same team, have tested positive for Covid-19,” a statement said late Wednesday.

“In line with the tournament’s public health and safety protocol, the pair have been removed from the draw and the two players placed in quarantine.”

(https://runrepeat.com/state-of-ultra-running) looked at the results of 5,010,730 million finishers from over 15000 races from 1996 to 2018, and found that female ultrarunne­rs are actually faster than their male counterpar­ts in races that were over 195 miles (around 314km) (these are run over multiple days).

The study, authored by climber and runner Paul Ronto and Vania Nikolova, a mathematic­al analyst in collaborat­ion with the Internatio­nal Associatio­n of Ultrarunne­rs, found that the gender pace gap reduces with distance.

In 5K runs, for example, men run 17.9% faster than women (this analysis excludes profes

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