Fresh off her fourth WTA title of the season in Tokyo, Ana Ivanovic stumbled at the first obstacle of the inaugural Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open, retiring with a left thigh injury in the first round against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova while trailing 7-5 6-5.
Seed No.12 Dominika Cibulkova was also forced to give up and her left ankle injury handed Madison Keys a 4-6 6-3 retirement win. Other seeded first-round casualties include No.15 seed Flavia Pennetta, who fell to qualifier Jarmila Gajdosova 6-1 6-4, and seed No.14 Lucie Safarova, who lost to birthday girl Sabine Lisicki 7-5 2-6 6-3.
Even more notably, Caroline Garcia followed up her upset of tennis legend Venus Williams, in which she saved a match point, with a thrilling 3-6 7-6(4) 7-6(7) triumph over fifth seed and world No.6 Agnieszka Radwanska in the second round, despite the Pole’s leads in both the second and third set.
The 49th-ranked Garcia, whose one and only WTA title came in Bogota earlier this year, proved that confidence plays a huge role in tennis:
On the court I just always try to play aggressively, no matter who the opponent is in front of me. I really try to believe in myself and believe I can do it.
Even before its start, the new tournament lost Victoria Azarenka due to her right foot injury and she later announced that she would even miss the rest of the season. (photo: Jimmie48)