Sharapova & Halep withdraw from Brisbane


Tuesday was a day full of disappointment for the Brisbane International crowd, as the tournament had to overcome withdrawals of two marquee players.

First, Maria Sharapova announced her decision to skip the tournament due to a left forearm injury she suffered while practicing in the lead-up to her opening match. Sharapova’s withdrawal puts the Russian’s #4 seeding at the Australian Open very much in danger, since the 2015 Brisbane champion will lose plenty of points this week.

Shortly afterwards, Simona Halep pulled out of the event due to a left leg Achilles injury. Unlike Sharapova, who will now strive to get ready for the Australian Open, Halep will head off to Sydney to try and play one more lead-up event before hitting the big stages.

Halep’s withdrawal robbed the tournament of one of its most exciting match-ups all week, as the Romanian was due to play Victoria Azarenka in the second round. Instead, Azarenka will now face off with Belgium’s Ysaline Bonaventure, a lucky loser from the qualifying stages.

The somewhat glum mood wasn’t helped by the weather either. Tuesday had non-stop rain in store and the downpour was so intense at times that even the covered two outer show courts were quickly in no condition to be played on for most of the day.

Before the rain kicked in, Roberta Vinci continued her very impressive start into the 2016 season. After beating Jelena Jankovic in the first round, the 2015 US Open finalist scored another big win on Tuesday, handing Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova only two games on the way into the tournament’s quarterfinal stage.

Vinci is joined in the quarters by Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who won her three-set match over Alize Cornet, as well as Ekaterina Makarova, who got past fellow Russian Margarita Gasparyan. The night session had the final bit of disappointment for the local fans in store, as Sam Stosur lost a thrilling three-set battle against Carla Suarez Navarro. Stosur has still never won two consecutive matches at her home tournament.

The second round of the 2016 Brisbane International will wrap up on Wednesday, so keep checking back to Women’s Tennis Blog for more from the Queensland Tennis Centre.


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