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Injury-hit Iga Swiatek’s French Open title defence on a knife-edge

PARIS – French Open champion Iga Swiatek said she will know in the coming days how serious her thigh injury is and whether she can defend her title at Roland Garros which gets under way on Sunday week.

The 21-year-old world No. 1 retired from Wednesday’s Italian Open quarter-final with Kazakhstan’s Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina.

The match was delicately poised at one set apiece and 2-2 in the decider when the two-time defending champion felt unable to continue.

“We’re checking it (the injury),” tweeted the Polish star, who also won the French Open in 2020.

“During the second set, I got a thigh injury. The diagnostic is in progress. More info in the following days. Will keep you updated.”

Swiatek, the reigning US Open champion, had roared through the first set but, after receiving treatment, she called a halt.

Nick Kyrgios, meanwhile, is certain to be absent from Roland Garros. His agent revealed that his withdrawal was due to a cut foot sustained when a man allegedly stole his car at gunpoint, his agent says, rather than knee surgery.

The French Tennis Federation said this week the 26th-ranked Australian would miss Roland Garros due to surgery in January to repair a torn left meniscus.

But his agent told The Canberra Times the knee was “fine” and a nasty cut to the foot was why he would not be in Paris next week.

“The knee surgery went as well as it possibly could and his rehabilitation was fantastic and we were at the point where we were doing on-court loading and management,” Daniel Horsfall told the newspaper.

“During the ordeal he cut his foot quite badly. It’s not healing correctly and he can’t put in the work on court, so he’s been off court for almost two weeks now.”

Court documents cited by national broadcaster ABC earlier this month alleged that a man pointed a gun at Kyrgios’ mother before stealing his lime-green Tesla near his home in Canberra.

The 28-year-old Kyrgios, who was nearby, called police and using an app on his phone helped them track his car’s location. It is not clear how he cut his foot.

The 2022 Wimbledon finalist has not played the French Open since a second-round exit in 2017.

He has never flourished on the Roland-Garros clay, reaching the third round on just two of the five times he has played there.

Kyrgios has had a troubled year, pleading guilty in February to assaulting a former girlfriend. He avoided a conviction for what the magistrate called a “single act of stupidity”.

His grandmother died this week. AFP