Thursday 23 November 2017

Tennis: Serena forced to limp out of Brisbane

Serena Williams collapses after twisting her ankle in her match against Bojana Jovanovski of Serbia during the Brisbane International tennis tournament yesterday
Serena Williams collapses after twisting her ankle in her match against Bojana Jovanovski of Serbia during the Brisbane International tennis tournament yesterday

Serena Williams suffered a day of mixed emotions as she beat Bojana Jovanowski in the last 16 of the Brisbane International yesterday, before having to pull out of the tournament with a sprained ankle.

The fourth seed wrapped up a 6-2 6-4 win but rolled her ankle and was forced to withdraw after a subsequent scan.

"I'm disappointed to have to pull out of the Brisbane International," she said. "I have been to hospital and it has been confirmed that I have a left ankle sprain that I probably shouldn't play on.

"I'm going to take a couple of days off and see how I feel. I'm still hopeful of playing the Australian Open."

Top seed and home favourite Samantha Stosur was eliminated by Iveta Benesova, the Czech player triumphing 6-4 6-2. The other women's quarter-finals saw in-form Kaia Kanepi hammer seventh seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-0 6-3, while sixth seed Jelena Jankovic beat Russian Nina Bratchikova 6-3 6-2.

Men's top seed Andy Murray was forced to recover from a set down for the second day in succession to beat Luxembourg's Gilles Muller.

The world No 4 lost the opening set 6-4 after a dismal final service game but took the second on a tie-break and powered through the decider to win 4-6 7-6 (7/4) 6-0.

The Scot will next face Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis, a 6-3 6-4 winner over fifth seed Kei Nishikori.

Third seed Alexandr Dolgopolov beat Russia's Igor Andreev 6-7 (3/7) 7-6 (11/9) 6-2.

Second seed Gilles Simon beat Sydney teenager James Duckworth 6-3 7-5, but Bernard Tomic kept home hopes alive with a routine 6-1 6-2 win over Japan's Tatsuma Ito.

Elsewhere, top seed Rafael Nadal cruised into the quarter-finals of the Qatar Open with a routine 6-2 6-2 victory over qualifier Denis Gremelmayr yesterday.

"The conditions weren't easy, you try to move your legs at the last moment," the Spaniard said afterwards. "I didn't have a chance to practise a lot in the off-season, not as much as I would have liked. These matches are really important and the best practice I can have."

Nadal had been troubled by a shoulder injury for several weeks but there was little sign of this as Gremelmayr, ranked 189 in the world, was forced to save a break point in the opening game.

The German lost his next service game, a poor forehand into the net putting Nadal 2-1 ahead and a break up.

Nadal seemed determined to avoid another long match after taking more than two-and-a-half hours to defeat first-round opponent Philipp Kohlschreiber in three sets on Tuesday, with the schedule offering no rest days for the top seeds.

results in factfile

Irish Independent

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