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Former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu screamed in pain and left the court in a wheelchair after suffering a serious-looking ankle injury at the Miami Open.
The Canadian had been showing some of her best form since lifting her maiden grand slam title in New York in 2019 having struggled with injuries and mental health issues.
But she fell to the court during the third game of the second set of her fourth-round match against Ekaterina Alexandrova in Florida sobbing and shrieking.
After receiving treatment, Andreescu, who was 2-0 up in the second set having lost the opener on a tie-break, was taken off court in a wheelchair and must now hope the injury is not as bad as it appeared.
Alexandrova said on wtatennis.com: “I’m just really sorry that it happened to (Andreescu). Seeing her on the court in so much pain, it’s just painful to watch. You cannot help, you just can do nothing, which is terrible. I’m wishing for her a speedy recovery.”
There could be a repeat of the Indian Wells final between Elena Rybakina and Aryna Sabalenka, with both easing into the quarter-finals.
Australian Open champion Sabalenka took on Barbora Krejcikova for a third straight tournament and moved ahead in the head-to-head with a comfortable 6-3 6-2 victory.
Rybakina’s pursuit of the Sunshine Double, meanwhile, continued with a 6-4 6-3 win against Belgian Elise Mertens, her 11th straight victory.
American number one Jessica Pegula continued to make the most of home advantage as she saw off Magda Linette.
Pegula lives about 30 minutes north of Hard Rock Stadium – driving to the venue each day – and she recovered from 2-5 down in the second set to clinch a 6-1 7-5 victory.
“I love playing on this court, being at home in Florida, in a football stadium, it is just great all round,” Pegula, whose family own the Buffalo Bills, said in her courtside interview, broadcast on Amazon Prime Video.
“She is a really good competitor and was not going to let me win easily.
“She picked up her level a bit (in the second set) and mine started to drop, then I started to be more aggressive and got into a rhythm again and was able to reel off some games.”
Pegula goes on to face Russian Anastasia Potapova, the world number 26, who beat China’s Qinwen Zheng 6-4 7-6 (4). The pair met in the third round at Indian Wells, where Pegula came through in three sets.
Italy’s Martina Trevisan also progressed in straight sets after seeing off 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 6-3, while Romanian Sorana Cirstea beat Marketa Vondrousova 7-6 (3) 6-4 to book her quarter-final spot.
Elsewhere, it took two hours for two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova to overcome Varvara Gracheva 7-5 7-6.
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