German tennis star Angelique Kerber left the Memorial Drive Park with a lower back injury during the match against Dayana Yastremska in Adelaide International.
Kerber was trailing in the match to 19-year old Yastremska. The Ukranian tennis player had just four unforced errors as she powered her way to a 6-3 win in the first set. She also won the first two games of the second set before Kerber called for medical attention.
After a small delay, Kerber deemed herself unfit to continue, retiring at 6-3, 2-0.
— WTA (@WTA) January 15, 2020
In the other matches, Dona Vekic went past Greece’s Maria Sakkari 2-6, 7-5, 6-1, qualifying for the quarter-finals. She will meet Yastremska in the quarter-finals of the Adelaide International.
Worrying for Angelique Kerber ahead of Australian Open
While the severity of the injury is yet unknown, it would certainly raise a few concerns with the first Grand Slam of the year fast approaching. The winner of the 2018 Wimbledon Championships will have high hopes for the Australian Open in 2020. She has previously tasted success in Australia when she won the Grand Slam event in 2016. The year was, in fact, the most glorious for Kerber in terms of professional achievements. She was also the US Open Champion then apart from winning a silver medal representing Germany at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
An injury in the Round of 16 of Adelaide International would be far from an ideal start to 2020 for the former World No. 1.
The 2020 Australian Open is scheduled to start from January 20 with qualifiers currently underway. The air quality in Melbourne has been an issue since the qualifiers began on Tuesday.
The qualifiers being held in spite of the deteriorating air quality led to many criticisms.
Governing body Tennis Australia, in a statement on Wednesday, said that the conditions were being monitored and further decisions would be made after consulting the medical team and scientists.