Fourth seed Caroline Garcia left the court in tears after a lower back injury forced the Frenchwoman to retire from her first round match against Alize Cornet at the Brisbane International on Sunday.
The 24-year-old, who struggled with a back injury last season, claimed the first set 6-3 before Cornet prevailed by the same score in the second to force the decider in the all-French encounter.
Garcia appeared to be suffering from some discomfort and took a medical timeout before the final set. She tried to hit a couple of serves before deciding she could not continue and retired in tears.
“I’ve always had some issues with my back,” Garcia told reporters.“At the beginning of the match I felt a pain in my lower back and it was different than it is normally. It was getting worse and worse and in the end I couldn’t really move. There was no point to keep going.”
“I mean, it’s in two weeks, so it’s a long time... with the back it’s always complicated,” she added. “Especially mine, it’s really something I take care of, so it’s kind of surprising for it to show up like this. But we’ll do the best that we can.”
Cornet will met Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in the second round after the Croatian, who travels full-time with her daughter, overcame Germany’s Tatjana Maria 6-4 4-6 6-0.
“I‘m very sorry for Caroline. I know what it’s like to have back pain,” Cornet, who went down to Karolina Pliskova in last year’s final, said in a courtside interview.”I hope she recovers for the next tournament in the Australian Open. I cannot say I‘m glad to be through this way, but the adventure continues for me.
“Last year, I had a super run to the final and I have very good memories. I hope to go as far as possible.”Elsewhere, seventh seed Anastasija Sevastova beat local favourite Sam Stosur 6-1 6-3, while Ana Konjuh tamed Kiki Bertens 6-1 6-2.In the men’s section, Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov caused a minor upset with a hard fought victory over sixth seed Diego Schwartzman of Argentina 6-4 7-6(3).