Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships: Achilles injury flares again forcing Garbine Muguruza to retire

Opening her campaign against Ukraine’s Kateryna Bondarenko, the No 4 seed looked uncomfortable from the start and called for a trainer early in the match before retiring while trailing her opponent 4-1.

Garbine Muguruza of Spain plays a backhand against Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine during day three of the WTA Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship at the Dubai Tennis Stadium on February 21, 2017 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Tom Dulat / Getty Images
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DUBAI // Forced out of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships by a painful left Achilles, a disappointed Garbine Muguruza heads home to begin her recovery hoping it will not sideline her for too long.

Opening her campaign on Tuesday against Ukraine’s Kateryna Bondarenko after a first-round bye, the No 4 seed looked uncomfortable from the start and called for a trainer early in the match. The 2016 French Open champion, however, decided to continue and even broke back after being 4-0 down, but then retired immediately at 4-1.

“When I won that game, I’m like, ‘Yeah, it doesn’t matter’, because I don’t see myself now 100 per cent to play a match,” Muguruza said.

“So even though if I’m 4-1, it’s not that I’m, ‘Oh, maybe I can win’.”


Read more

■ Day 4: Order of play

■ Day 3: Ekaterina Makarova upsets Dominika Cibulkova to advance to third round

■ Day 2: Caroline Wozniacki continues her Doha form to beat Russian teenager

■ Williams sisters: Serena and Venus Williams draw admiration of Agnieszka Radwanska


Muguruza said she had first felt the pain in her left Achilles in Doha during the rain-marred Qatar Open last week, when she was forced to play two matches on the same day. She won the first against Cagla Buyukakcay but lost to Shuai Zhang in the second.

“The second one was very tough, and I remember that as soon as I went after the match to my room I started to have a pain in my left Achilles,” Muguruza said.

“The next morning was even more painful. I have been carrying this since that day.

“The doctor said maybe it’s just inflammation. Can’t say anything right now. I have to do some kind of MRI [scan].”

This is the second retirement of the year for Muguruza, who was up 4-1 against Alize Cornet in the Brisbane semi-final last month when she stopped with a right thigh injury.

“I’m quite disappointed, because they are very important tournaments, Doha and Dubai together,” Muguruza said.

“I feel like I didn’t play enough.

“My next stop is Indian Wells, and I will try my best to be ready.

“I will probably go home, get ready, treat my Achilles, or I don’t know exactly what it is. Just to clean that zone. I don’t want to have any pain. I don’t want to go on the court with pain. In Brisbane I had pain, Australian Open I had pain. I’m tired of feeling that.”

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