WUHAN: Playing her first match in nearly three months, Maria Sharapova retired with an arm injury Monday in the third set of her opening match at the Wuhan Open.
The third-ranked Sharapova called for a trainer to look at her left forearm after the first game of the final set. She played two more games before telling the chair umpire she could not continue.
Sharapova was leading Barbora Strycova 7-6 (1), 6-7 (4), 2-1 when she decided to stop.
Sharapova missed the entire hard-court season, including the U.S. Open, with a leg injury.
”I’ve had my share of serious injuries, and I know this is far from it, something I just have to take care of,” she said.
Sharapova said she hopes to be fit to play in the Oct. 25-Nov. 1 season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore and Russia’s Fed Cup final against the Czech Republic on Nov. 14-15.
Earlier, in her first match since losing in the U.S. Open final, Roberta Vinci rallied to beat qualifier Danka Kovinic of Montenegro 5-7, 6-1, 6-3 in the first round.
The 15th-seeded Italian was broken three times in the opening set, but picked up her game to advance to the second round.
At the U.S. Open, Vinci stopped Serena Williams’ bid for a calendar-year Grand Slam by upsetting the American in the semifinals.
Eugenie Bouchard withdrew from the tournament on Monday because of the concussion she sustained during the U.S. Open. The Canadian said she’s ”frustrated and disappointed” that she won’t be able to compete.
Also in the first round, ninth-seeded Ana Ivanovic of Serbia defeated Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania 6-1, 6-3; Sloane Stephens of the United States beat Alison Riske 7-6 (4), 6-3; and 14th-seeded Madison Keys beat Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (4).
Eighth-seeded Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, who had a bye in the first round, defeated Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia 7-6 (4), 5-7, 7-6 (5) in the second round.