WTA Birmingham: Injury forces Belinda Bencic to retire against Irina-Camelia Begu

The match between Belinda Bencic and Irina-Camelia Begu was scheduled to be played on Tuesday, however, after a number of rain delays their match was moved to today (Wednesday). Bencic was not on court long before she slipped and hurt her right thigh. The young Swiss continued to play through the pain for a set and a half, but in the end, she decided it was best to retire. During the time that Bencic did decide to try and fight through the pain, Begu did not lose concentration. The Romanian took control of the match, as she won the opening set and then picked up a break in the second set.

Begu takes the set after Bencic's slip

The match was only a couple of points old when Bencic slipped whilst trying to retrieve the ball. It was clear straight away that Bencic had hurt herself, as the young Swiss quickly grabbed her leg. After a few moments, Bencic went on to win her opening service game.

For the majority of the set, both Bencic and Begu won their service games with ease. Neither player dropped more than one point whilst they were serving, this was until the seventh game. Begu started to make Bencic move a lot more, which gave her a break point opportunity. Unfortunately for Begu, Bencic managed to prevent her from capitalizing on her chance. The Swiss player then went on to take the game herself, after some impressive shots.

Begu soon found herself ahead in the match. The Romanian played some well-placed shots, to work herself into a potion to break Bencic. This time around, Bencic could do nothing to stop Begu from breaking her. Begu took the game at the first time of asking, which gave her the chance to serve for the first set. Begu who had been looking very impressive on serve since the start of the match did not falter when it came to taking her chance to go a set up. The Romanian looked comfortable as she took the game and set with the first opportunity that she had.

Begu was impressive on serve during the first set. Photo: Steve Bardens/Getty Images
Begu was impressive on serve during the first set. Photo: Steve Bardens/Getty Images

Bencic retires

Despite losing the first set, Bencic continued to play. The Swiss youngster was clearly limping throughout the opening few games of the second set. Even with the injury hampering her, Bencic found a way to win her first two service games, one of which she had to fend off three break point chances.  Begu continued to play her game, which is a credit to her mentality, as many players would have been to focused on what their opponent was doing, rather than on what they were doing.

The longer the set was going, the more visible it was to see that Bencic was struggling. Usually, Bencic would run to retrieve any ball, however, today she could not move more than a couple of steps. Begu eventually made a breakthrough in the seventh game, as she broke Bencic at the third time of asking. At this point, Bencic wisely decided it was best for her not to continue.

After an hour and twenty minutes, Begu progresses into the second round where she will face Tsvetana Pironkova.

Bencic battled hard, but the pain was too much in the end. Photo: Steve Bardens/Getty Images
Bencic battled hard, but the pain was too much in the end. Photo: Steve Bardens/Getty Images

It was confirmed after the match the Bencic had sustained an injury to her right thigh. The severity of the injury is still unclear but Bencic will be hoping it does not keep her out of Eastbourne where she is defending her trophy.

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