Watch: Maria Sharapova consoles distraught teenage opponent who was forced to retire when leading the Russian
Maria Sharapova consoled Wang Xinyu after the Chinese teenager was forced to retire from their second-round match at the Shenzhen Open due to cramp.
Wang, the youngest player in the tournament at 17 years old, led 6-7(4) 5-2 when she withdrew on medical grounds with a bandage wrapped around her left thigh.
Before limping from the court, she was comforted by Sharapova as she received treatment, with the five-time grand slam winner declaring "cramps suck!"
Sharapova added: "You played unbelievable, OK? Unbelievable. Take care of yourself. If you play like that you're going to be number one, I promise."
Once the match had finished, the 31-year-old Russian had more encouraging words.
"Obviously it's a tough situation. It's not the way either of us want to finish the match, win or lose," Sharapova said.
"I thought Wang was absolutely the dominant player in this match and had all the opportunities to win it, even though I felt like I was finding my stride and getting a little bit closer to the line and being more aggressive.
"She has all the tools to play well and she showcased that. It's obviously a very unfortunate way to end the match."