French Open: Ashleigh Barty sheds tears over 'heartbreaking' injury, but she's now looking ahead to Wimbledon
World No 1 Ashleigh Barty says her injury is "disappointing but not panic stations" as the Australian aims to get ready for the grass season and Wimbledon, which starts on June 28; she said: "I'm confident we do have a plan. It's just that we ran out of time here"
Last Updated: 04/06/21 10:19am
Ashleigh Barty said the injury which left her French Open dreams in tatters was "heartbreaking" but has vowed to return to full fitness in time for the grass season.
Barty, who lifted the trophy in 2019 but chose not to defend her title last year, headed to Roland Garros as one of the favourites for the women's singles title after an excellent build-up which included a WTA title in Stuttgart.
But the Australian struggled against Bernarda Pera in her first match and revealed afterwards a left hip problem had flared up at the weekend.
Barty admitted it would be tough to get through more matches and so it proved, with the top seed calling it a day down 6-1 2-2 against Pole Magda Linette on Thursday.
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"It's heartbreaking," she said. "We have had such a brilliant clay-court season, and to get a little bit unlucky with timing more than anything to have something acute happen over the weekend and just kind of run out of time against the clock is disappointing.
"It won't take away the brilliant three months that we have had, as much as it hurts right now.
"It was a small miracle that we were able to get on court for that first round. Today it was no better and getting worse again.
"I've had my fair share of tears this week. It's all good. Everything happens for a reason. There will be a silver lining in this eventually. Once I find out what that is, it'll make me feel a little bit better, but it will be there, I'm sure."
Barty revealed the injury happened during a training session when she landed on a serve and she pulled the plug because she was becoming concerned about what might happen.
"I just tried to give myself a chance and see how it felt," she said. "Obviously practising we've had our restrictions and essentially tried to stay as fresh as possible and not aggravate it in any way, but in a match that's unavoidable at times.
"It got worse today and it was becoming at the stage where it was unsafe. As hard as it is, it had to be done."
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Barty will now focus on trying to be fully fit in time for the grass and Wimbledon, which she still rates as her favourite surface despite having won her first Grand Slam title on clay.
"It's something that I've never experienced before," said Barty of the injury. "Even chatting with my physio, not something she has seen regularly either.
"So we've been consulting with people all over the world to try and give us some insight into what the best ways to manage it are, and I'm confident we do have a plan. It's just that we ran out of time here.
"It's disappointing but not panic stations. We know what's going on. We just need time to manage it to get back on the court as quickly as we can."