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Top-ranked Ash Barty withdraws from French Open


Top-ranked Ash Barty has withdrawn from the French Open.

The 2019 champion trailed 6-1, 2-2 in the second round when she signaled she was not able to keep playing against Polish opponent Magda Linette on Court Philippe Chatrier.

Barty has been dealing with a left hip problem and struggled through a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 win over 70th-ranked Bernarda Pera in the first round.

Barty decided not to try to defend her title last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Barty played 13 matches on clay in the buildup to the French Open and won 11. But she was forced to retire in the quarterfinals in Rome in May because of an injury to her right arm.

In other early action, last year’s runner-up, Sofia Kenin, advanced to the third round with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Hailey Baptiste in a battle of Americans.

Kenin has had a tough start to the season. The 2020 Australian Open champion underwent an emergency appendectomy in Melbourne in February, and her record was 7-8 entering the clay-court Grand Slam.

Fifth-seeded Elina Svitolina also progressed by defeating French Open debutant Ann Li of the United States 6-0, 6-4.

Svitolina played brilliantly in the opening set by combining deep shots from the baseline with clever play at the net and dropping only five points on her service games. She recovered from a blip early in the second set to win the last five games.



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