Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic was two points away from being sent packing in the first round of the China Open in Beijing, but her opponent, Chinese no. 1 Qiang Wang couldn’t finish the match due to heat cramping. Tomljanovic advanced to the second round, 5-7, 4-5 (ret.).
The match could have been over a lot sooner, with Wang storming out to a 5-1 lead, and serving for the first set, but the Australian found her form and fought back to level the score at 5 all. It still wasn’t enough for Tomljanovic, as Wang quickly finished up the last two games to win the first set.
Once again the Chinese dominated to lead 4-0, but Tomljanovic fought back again to 4 all as Wang began to suffer cramps in her right leg. She managed to hold on for one more game to lead again at 5-4, but with just two points from the second round, the pain became too much for Wang, and she couldn’t continue. She tried to stretch out her leg, with the Australian running over to help her, however, it did her no favour as her other leg began to cramp also. Wang was wheeled off court in a wheel chair with the Beijing crowd watching on in despair, having also just witnessed Chinese no. 2 Shuai Zhang lose a thriller to Angelique Kerber in the previous match.Embed from Getty Images
Photo: BEIJING, CHINA – SEPTEMBER 29: Qiang Wang of China gets injured while Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia tries to help during the women’s singles first round match of 2019 China Open at the China National Tennis Center on September 29, 2019 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Xinyu Cui/Getty Images)
Tomljanovic will face American Alison Riske in the second round.