Ash Barty in tears over 'heartbreaking' French Open disaster

·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Ash Barty, pictured here after her shock exit from the French Open.
Ash Barty admitted she shed lots of tears over her heartbreaking injury. Image: Getty/French Open

Ash Barty had admitted she was in tears all week knowing full-well that a hip injury was about to ruin her French Open campaign.

The World No.1 was left heartbroken on Thursday night after she was forced to retire hurt during her second round match with Poland's Magda Linette.

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The Aussie star's bid to regain the title she won in 2019 ended in anti-climactic circumstances on Thursday as she looked a shadow of herself on Court Philippe Chatrier, struggling to move freely, hitting weak serves and in obvious discomfort.

After losing the first set 6-1, she underwent a medical timeout to see if she could somehow battle through the match, but after a brief revival at the start of the second set, she cut a despondent figure as she offered her hand to Linette with the scores locked at 2-2.

It was a devastating end to Barty's dream of winning back the title after giving her defence a miss in Covid-hit 2020 - and she admitted there had been tears this week as she'd battled to get fit.

Ultimately, though, she said the "acute" injury that she picked up in practice at the weekend had made it "unsafe" for her to carry on.

"It's heartbreaking," she said in her post-match press conference.

"We've had such a brilliant clay-court season, and to get a little bit unlucky with the timing of this injury, with something acute happening over the weekend and just running out of time, it's disappointing.

"But It won't take away the brilliant three months that we have had, as much as it hurts right now.

"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."

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Ash Barty's incredible clay-court season over

The World No.1 admitted it had been "brutal" and "tough to accept" that her dazzling clay-court season ended in such anti-climax.

However she can take some comfort in remembering what she's achieved on her exhausting US/Europe tour over the past two-and-a-half months.

She won two titles in Miami and Stuttgart, made another final in Madrid and had a stretch of clay-court mastery that underlined her World No.1 status leading up to Roland Garros.

These were considerable achievements Barty could cling to.

"It's heartbreaking ... but it won't take away the brilliant three months that we have had, as much as it hurts right now," she said.

Ash Barty, pictured here after retiring hurt against Magda Linette at the French Open.
Ash Barty leaves the court after retiring hurt against Magda Linette at the French Open. (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

"We've had such a brilliant clay-court season, and to get a little bit unlucky with the timing of this injury, with something acute happening over the weekend and just running out of time, it's disappointing.

"But what happened today and this week here in Paris won't take away from what we've achieved - we have had a brilliant, brilliant time."

However the Queenslander made the concerning admission that she's still not sure exactly what injury she's dealing with.

"It's a completely new injury, and something that I've never experienced before," said Barty.

"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, to handle it, and I'm confident we do have a plan.

"It's just that we ran out of time here, which sucks. 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."

with AAP

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