In-form Svitolina withdraws in rainy Kuala Lumpur

By Peter Thompson 1 March 2017 226
In-form Svitolina withdraws in rainy Kuala Lumpur

Defending champion Elina Svitolina withdrew from the Malaysian Open due to a leg injury as only three players moved into the quarter-finals in a rainy Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.

Svitolina needed treatment during her first-round victory over Jang Su-jeong on Tuesday and the in-form world number 10 pulled out of the tournament due to a lower leg issue a day later.

Nao Hibino was given a walkover into the last eight in the absence of top seed Svitolina, who came into the event on the back of winning the Taiwan Open and Dubai Tennis Championships.

Qualifier Lesley Kerkhove will face the unseeded Hibino after defeating Sabina Sharipova 6-4 6-4 to reach her first WTA quarter-final.

The 195-ranked Kerkhove fought back from 4-1 down to win the first set and broke twice in the second to move into uncharted territory.

Zhang Kai-Lin was also a straight-sets winner on day three of the tournament, ousting Risa Ozaki 6-2 6-4.

The unseeded Zhang will now be up against either Ashleigh Barty or Miyu Kato after winning six games in a row to take the first set and coming out on top in a second set which included five breaks of serve.

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Peter Thompson