More players wilt at end of long season

More players wilt at end of long season

Belinda Bencic and Victoria Azarenka joined the growing ranks of walking wounded at the Wuhan Open Tuesday, when they both retired from their second round matches with injuries.

The pair follow Maria Sharapova – who retired Monday from her first match since Wimbledon with a new arm injury – and Canadian Eugenie Bouchard who pulled out before playing at all, saying she had not yet recovered from a concussion at the US Open.

Azarenka stopped play at the beginning of the second set when she was one set down to Brit Johanna Konta, citing a thigh injury sustained in training that morning.

“It’s always not easy to make the decision. You know, I don’t know if it was the right way to play that long because I started feeling it right in the beginning of the match,” Azarenka said.

Swiss teenager Bencic retired after just 38 minutes, at the end of a first set against unseeded Italian Camila Giorgi also with a thigh injury.

Eleventh seed Bencic had looked visibly tired in her first round match Monday, which came just a day after she lost the final of the WTA Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo to Agnieszka Radwanska.

Fourth seed Caroline Wozniacki lost her second round match to unseeded Anna Karolina Schmiedlova of Slovakia in a marathon three hour match, further thinning out the ranks of the top seed players at the tournament.

Meanwhile Venus Williams achieved her 700th career win over German qualifier Julia Goerges in straight sets, and was congratulated with flowers and a stuffed Wuhan Open mascot presented by tournament director Yi Guoqing.

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