Thu, Sep 29, 2016 - Page 16 News List

Halep knocked dizzy, Taiwanese rained out in China


Romania’s Simona Halep returns to Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan at the Wuhan Open in China yesterday.

Photo: AFP

Simona Halep yesterday reached the Wuhan Open quarter-finals, despite being knocked dizzy and forced to retire from a doubles match a day earlier, while three matches today will feature Taiwanese after rain forced cancelations.

The Romanian world No. 5 beat Yaroslava Shvedova 6-3, 6-3 before detailing the heavy blow from a ball, which left her with bruising to her head.

Halep was struck by a shot fired from the baseline by her doubles partner Jelena Ostapenko, before retiring from the match on Tuesday evening.

“She hit me with the ball, like 150kph,” Halep said.

“I was dizzy in the first moment, but then was much better,” she said.

“I feel pain all around here, but it’s okay,” she added, gesturing to the left side of her head.

Halep said she was cleared by doctors to play and faces Madison Keys of the US in the quarter-finals today.

The Women’s Tennis Association does not have the concussion protocols adopted by other sports to ensure players have fully recovered from blows to the head.

Concussions in tennis are rare, but they do happen, as when China’s Li Na was briefly knocked out in a fall during an Australian Open final in 2013.

Eugenie Bouchard cut short her season last year with concussion issues after she slipped and fell in a locker room at the US Open.

Former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka bowed out of the 2010 US Open after what was described as a “mild concussion” when she tripped getting off a treadmill.

She lasted about 30 minutes into her next match before collapsing on court and being taken off in a wheelchair.

Meanwhile, Australian doubles player Casey Dellacqua sustained a career-ending concussion at the China Open last year, retiring in May this year.

In other matches in Wuhan, Johanna Konta beat Carla Suarez Navarro 7-5, 7-6 (8/6), Svetlana Kuznetsova beat Venus Williams 6-2, 6-2 and Keys beat Darya Kasatkina 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.

Kuznetsova dominated Williams from the outset, breaking the US player five times. She improved to 5-4 against Williams.

Williams struggled with her serve in the gusty conditions and had seven double faults.

In the doubles, games involving Taiwanese were pushed back to today after rain caused delays.

Chan Hao-ching and Chan Yung-jan face Andreja Klepac and Katarina Srebotnik, while Chuang Chia-jung and Kateryna Bondarenko are to complete their match against Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka.

Also in China, Taiwan’s Lu Yen-hsun faces Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain in the second round of the Chengdu Open men’s singles today.

Additional reporting by staff writer and AP

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