At the ASB Classic in Auckland, world No.34 Zheng Jie won her first title since 2006, but the final match was an unfinished battle, as her opponent Flavia Pennetta retired at 2-6 6-3 2-0 with a low back injury. We’re only a week into the tennis season, and the number of WTA players injured or ill is close to ten.
In the first round Zheng defeated Ayumi Morita, in the second eighth seeded Monica Niculescu, in the quarterfinals Lucie Hradecka, then third seed Svetlana Kuznetsova for the first time in their seven meetings, and finally Pennetta.
Zheng’s first title came in Hobart in 2005, and since winning Estoril and Stockholm in 2006 she hasn’t clinched any titles, even though she played two Grand Slam semifinals – at Wimbledon 2008 and Australian Open 2010.
Regarding Pennetta’s injury, she started feeling it at 4-2 in the first set and an MRI scan will reveal how serious it is.