Tennis: Women players shutting down- Agnieszka Radwanska

Pole Agnieszka Radwanska reacting after losing a point against Australian Ashleigh Barty during their third-round match at the Wuhan Open. The Pole, the ninth seed, fell 6-4, 0-6, 4-6 to join a host of seeded players out of the tournament.
Pole Agnieszka Radwanska reacting after losing a point against Australian Ashleigh Barty during their third-round match at the Wuhan Open. The Pole, the ninth seed, fell 6-4, 0-6, 4-6 to join a host of seeded players out of the tournament.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Ninth seed falls in last 16 of Wuhan Open, cites fatigue for top players' premature exits

WUHAN (China) • Agnieszka Radwanska has warned that the world's top female tennis players are exhausted after a long season and said it was little surprise most of the seeds have tumbled out of the Wuhan Open.

The ninth-seeded Pole crashed out of the last 16 at the hands of Australia's Ashleigh Barty yesterday after struggling to overcome a virus that had forced her out of the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo.

She joined the exodus of tournament favourites, including second-seeded Simona Halep of Romania, and fourth-seeded Dane Caroline Wozniacki, during the early rounds in Wuhan.

"Some of the girls are tired. Obviously it's the end of the season," the 28-year-old, known as "Aga", said after going down 6-4, 0-6, 4-6.

"Nobody's a machine, you can just be exhausted after a couple of months playing tennis. These things happen."

Later yesterday, seventh seed Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia was sent packing by France's Caroline Garcia 6-3, 7-5.

Wuhan falls at a busy time of the year in the women's schedule, sandwiched between the Pan Pacific Open and the Beijing Open.

TIRED OUT

Nobody's a machine, you can just be exhausted after a couple of months playing tennis. These things happen.

AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA, the world No. 13, on the busy WTA Tour schedule taking a toll on the players.

They have weeks still to play, including the WTA Finals in Singapore late next month, before the final tournament of the season, the Fed Cup, in early November.

World No. 6 Wozniacki was on Tuesday upset 7-5, 6-3 in the second round by Greece's Maria Sakkari, ranked No. 80 in the world, just days after jetting in from Tokyo, where she captured her first title of the year. She fought her way to six previous finals, losing all before her breakthrough in Japan.

Speaking before her first match in Wuhan, Wozniacki said she found the tight schedule mentally challenging.

"I'm feeling okay (physically). It's more mentally... getting yourself up in the morning and having to be competitive and not just being able to take a chilled day," she said.

Halep, ranked No. 2 in the world, appeared to have the opposite problem after playing her first match since crashing out of the opening round of the US Open a month ago.

"Maybe it was a mistake that I didn't play, but I needed rest after the US season," she said after suffering a shock 6-2, 6-1 defeat by Russia's Daria Kasatkina. "It's tough to come back and to play matches."

The quartet followed fellow seeds Johanna Konta, Sloane Stephens, Madison Keys and Petra Kvitova out of the tournament.

Only three seeds remain after the third round yesterday, with top seed Garbine Muguruza of Spain beating Poland's Magda Linette 6-2, 1-6, 6-4. Eighth-seeded Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia prevailed over Monica Puig of Puerto Rico 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, while third seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic walloped China's Wang Qiang 6-2, 6-1.

Fabrice Chouquet, co-tournament director at Wuhan, said: "It's the end of the season, probably where certain players tend to be tired, but we've always had great winners - Petra (Kvitova) twice, Venus (Williams) once."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 28, 2017, with the headline 'Women players shutting down: AGA'. Print Edition | Subscribe