Reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu has been forced to retire after playing the longest match of the WTA season in her first competitive outing since bowing out at the Australian Open.
The No 1 seed was forced to quit after three hours and 36 minutes in the first round of the Guadalajara Open, with Australia’s Daria Saville progressing 5-7, 7-6 (4), 4-3.
Raducanu claimed the first set after a tough 80 minutes by bouncing back from an early break to herself break Saville in the final game.
The Briton served for the match at 5-3 in the second but Saville, the world No 610, broke back to force a tiebreak which she played cleanly to claim the set.
Both women appeared to be playing through the pain in the decider, with Saville battling leg cramps and Raducanu taking an off-court medical timeout.
The world No 12 returned to the court with her upper left leg taped and played two more games before deciding to retire down a break.