Russian ace announces season is over
Russian tennis star Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova has pulled out of the French Open and been forced to end her 2022 campaign due to a knee injury.
The 30-year-old finished runner-up at Roland-Garros last year by losing in the final to Barbora Krejcikova, but won't be able to improve on that showing after announcing her withdrawal from the Grand Slam on social media.
"I'm very sad to say that I'm forced to withdraw from Roland Garros and the rest of the tournaments this year," said the Samara native, who in recent months has dropped to a world number 21 ranking from a career-high 11.
"I have been playing this in my head for the last week and it has been a really tough decision to make, as Roland Garros was always very special to me, especially after a dream run last year," she lamented.
"But due to the pain for a long time, now the injury is limiting me physically and mentally to compete and practice fully.
"After rehabbing for months this year and only [playing] at three events, the last two tournaments [have shown] me that the pain was still there and I wasn't ready, so I have decided to take more time and come back stronger next year," Pavlyuchenkova added before thanking her fans for the support and vowing to see them next year.
Currently attempting to make a comeback from an operation to treat a hernia, Russian men's number one Daniil Medvedev is still set to feature at Roland-Garros, which gets underway on May 22.
The reigning US Open champion achieved a career best quarterfinal showing on the Paris clay last year, and his coach Gilles Cervara has suggested that the 26-year-old should target a similar run.
"I have the impression that Daniil is coming back from vacation and no injury,” Cervara said this week as quoted by Tennis Majors.
"Each day, it was found that he could execute more things than the day before. The serve was the last shot to be tested. In the fourth week, we resumed normal training and a real preparation phase...
"Roland-Garros is an objective in itself. We are going to Geneva to have as many benchmarks as possible given the situation. The idea is to do at least as well as last year," continued Cervara, who has been at Medvedev's side since 2017.
On Tuesday, Medvedev will finally return to the courts in a professional capacity at the Geneva Open, where he will face Richard Gasquet in a Round of 16 clash.
Beyond that, Medvedev and his fellow Russian stars are set to be banned from the third Grand Slam of the season at Wimbledon, after the All England Lawn Tennis Club took the step as a response to Russia's military operation in Ukraine.