Thu, Aug 23, 2012 - Page 19 News List

Radwanska forced to drop out of New Haven

AFP, NEW HAVEN, Connecticut

Top seed Agnieszka Radwanska retired from her opening match at the WTA’s New Haven Open on Tuesday with a sore right shoulder.

Qualifier Olga Govortsova of Belarus was leading their second-round contest 6-0 and 2-1 when Poland’s Radwanska, the Wimbledon runner-up, called it a day.

Radwanska, who enjoyed a first-round bye, had received treatment on the shoulder after the first set and admitted she took the fast-approaching start of the US Open into consideration when she opted not to continue.

“I think Grand Slam is the most important tournament, obviously,” Radwanska said. “I was just scared to play more.”

Radwanska, who has won titles this year in Dubai, Miami and Brussels, said she has been bothered by pain in her shoulder in recent weeks, but had hoped to get in some match play before the last Grand Slam of the season starts on Monday at Flushing Meadows.

“I’ve struggled with my shoulder for a couple weeks now,” she said. “I needed some practice.”

Govortsova advanced to a quarter-final clash with Russian seventh seed Maria Kirilenko, who advanced on a walkover when Germany’s Mona Barthel withdrew before their scheduled match with a stomach ailment.

Earlier, French Open finalist Sara Errani and former Wimbledon runner-up Marion Bartoli booked a quarter-final meeting.

Italy’s Errani, the fourth seed, defeated Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro 6-4, 6-3, while fifth-seeded Bartoli of France survived a scare to beat American Sloane Stephens 6-1, 0-6, 6-3.

Bartoli trailed 0-3 in the third, but won the next six games to advance in the US Open tune-up event.

Despite the mountain facing her in the third, Bartoli said she never lost heart.

“I started to hit the ball harder — [to] be mentally very tough,” she said, although she added that she had expected things to be much easier after she breezed through the opening frame in 21 minutes. “I really thought after the first set, I was just on a run.”

However, Stephens stormed back, winning the first game of the second set and breaking Bartoli in the next as the French player double-faulted twice.

Bartoli’s serve was a weak spot throughout the second set, in which she double-faulted six times.

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