American tennis star Amanda Anisimova has left fans concerned for her wellbeing after abruptly walking out of her second round match at Indian Wells.
There was wholesale confusion as Anisimova departed after losing the second set to Canada's Leylah Fernandez, leaving the court before the chair umpire had time to call for a doctor.
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After winning the first set, Anisimova had been serving for the match at 5-4 before Fernandez stormed back into the match, forcing a tiebreak and dominating it 7-0 to force a third set.
The chair umpire appeared confused after Anisimonva approached them at the end of the second set, with the 20-year-old making a swift exit from the arena.
Anisimova had already gathered her bags and was waving to the crowd on the way out before officials could be contacted by the umpire.
— BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) March 13, 2022
“Can you wait for supervisor because it’s all of a sudden let’s wait,” the chair umpire was heard saying as the situation unfolded.
“Amanda please wait for the supervisor, thank you.”
It was to no avail though, with the American determined to make a swift exit, prompting the chair umpire to turn to Fernandez and confirm 'OK Leylah, it’s finished.'
The chair umpire was heard saying on their radio that Anisimova had told them she was 'really sick', with the WTA later confirming she had retired due to illness.
The 20-year-old later confirmed on social media that she had begun feeling worse and worse during the match.
"Hi everyone, unfortunately I've been quite sick the last few days and yesterday woke up feeling very ill," Anisimova posted on social media.
"I wanted to try to push through it in the match and continue playing the tournament. I couldn't go on with the match anymore because I felt like I was putting my health at risk at that point.
"It's disappointing for me to end this week like this, but that's just the way it is sometimes. I'll try to be better next time. I'll look forward to getting back on the court soon. And please keep your negative comments to yourself."
damn, feel for anisimova.
good on leylah not showing any quit, you absolutely have to keep pushing until match point is clinched. https://t.co/PKPnVlclo0
— Vivek Jacob (@vivekmjacob) March 13, 2022
I hope that Amanda Anisimova is ok. That was an odd end to her match.
— Stefanie 😷💉💉💉 (@Stefmara) March 13, 2022
Anisimova lost the tiebreak 7-0 after having multiple MPs vs Fernandez, set down, cried and retired. Umpire Zhang tried to stop her and call physio first but she was already gone by then
— enrico maria riva (@enricomariariva) March 13, 2022
Speaking after the match, Fernandez said she simply hoped her opponent was alright.
“When she told me she was sick, the first thing that came to mind is I hope she’s feeling better and we can have another match like this one," she said.
Concerns for Amanda Anisimova after unusual Indian Wells exit
The unusual exit from the tournament come just days after Anisimova's coach, Australian mentor Darren Cahill, abruptly ended their working relationship.
After a strong start to the 2022 season, with a victory at the Melbourne Summer Set followed by a fourth round loss to world No.1 Ash Barty at the Australian Open, there were hopes Anisimova might be able to tap into the potential many have credited her with since made the semi-finals of the 2019 French Open, aged 17.
Cahill's abrupt change of heart has thrown a spanner in the works of those plans, particularly since he only came on board as Anisimova's coach in 2021.
The Australian put his change of heart down to burnout, saying the rigours of the WTA Tour, plus ongoing difficulties in returning to Australia due to border restrictions in the past two years, had contributed to his decision.
Anisimova had been on a tear in 2019, winning her first WTA title and making it to the French Open semi-finals, where she was stopped by eventual champion Ash Barty.
Things came crashing down in August of that year when Anisimova's father and former coach Konstantin died suddenly just before the US Open.
Aged just 52, his passing from a heart attack just a week before Anisimova turned 18 put her rise in the tennis world on hold.
The combination of Anisimova and Cahill had been widely lauded as a string pairing to help the American star improve on her best form from 2019.
However the 20-year-old now looks likely to have to go back to the drawing board with the French Open looming in May.
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