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Ailing Peng Shuai decides to skip remaining WTA season

2015-5-25


PARIS, May 24 (Xinhua) -- China's top female player Peng Shuai has became one of the biggest casualties of the French Open tennis tournament's opening day as the 24th seed managed just 33 minutes of play at Roland Garros on Sunday.

"Here's the end of my competitive action of the season," said Peng.

The semifinalist of last year's U.S. Open was forced to retire with a back injury when trailing 6-0, 2-0 to Polona Hercog in the women's singles first round, granting the Slovenian a swift passage into the last 64.

"It's the same injury that has hunted me down since last year's Fed Cup," Peng told a post-match press conference.

Having failed to hold on any of her own serves, the 29-year-old even found it difficult to pull down a single point in most of her games against Hercog, who had lost four matches in a row before coming to Roland Garros.

Peng asked for medical aid during the inter-set break and struggled for two more games in the second set before calling it off with tears in eyes.

The back injury had costed her a series of competitions since her fourth-round exit in January's Australian Open.

"I've consulted with some experts and learnt that my situation was much severe than we expected," said Peng. "It's bad in Melbourne and worse in Dubai. But by the end of the Dubai event, I could not feel my left leg."

"Doctor suggested me to operate on it, but that means I'd have to be sidelined for a couple of months, sitting off the remaining season away from the court.

"Actually, I'm quite thankful for being pushed so hard today. It helped me make up my mind," she said. "I need to get undergo surgery on my ailing back, I think, before it's too late."

Earlier this month, Peng made a return in Madrid but suffered a first-round defeat.

"Of course I'm scared, but it's better to go surgery and rest and rehabit, rather than suffering so much pain while risking my chance," added the Hunan native.

Peng, a doubles specialist who owns 17 WTA doubles titles but just six-time WTA singles finalist, reached her career's first Grand Slam semifinal at the 2014 U.S. Open.



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