Brisbane - Serena Williams retired during
her Hopman Cup match in Perth on Tuesday, completing a day of injuries and
upsets for the leading women's players less than two weeks from the Australian
Williams, who missed the US team's opening
loss to Ukraine on Monday because of inflammation in her left knee, was
trailing 7-5, 2-1 against Jarmila Wolfe when she left the court in her first
match of the season.
"I just have some inflammation that's
been going away very slowly," Williams said. "It's going away, but
just needs a little more time.
"I've been training really hard during
the off-season. Really pushing myself beyond the limits. I just think a day off
or two will make a world of difference."
Lleyton Hewitt beat Jack Sock 7-5, 6-4, and
Hewitt and Wolfe beat Sock and American substitute Victoria Duval 7-6 (4), 6-1
in mixed doubles to win the tie 3-0.
Ukraine leads the group with wins over the
Americans and Czech Republic.
Other top-10 women on the injured list
included defending champion Maria Sharapova and top-seeded Simona Halep at the
Brisbane International, where they withdrew without playing because of injuries
within an hour of each other.
At the ASB Classic in Auckland, New
Zealand, defending champion Venus Williams and 2014 winner Ana Ivanovic were
beaten in first-round upsets.
And at the Shenzhen Open in China, two-time
Wimbledon champion and No 6-ranked Petra Kvitova retired during the first set
of her first-round match due to an undisclosed illness.
No 4-ranked Sharapova was scheduled to
play fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova but withdrew hours before the
first-round match rather than risk further damage to a sore left forearm.
The five-time major winner said she'd hurt
her forearm in practice and had to withdraw as a precaution. Her place in the
draw was taken by Margarita Gasparyan, who lost to Makarova.
Halep withdrew a day ahead of her scheduled
opening match because of a problem with her left Achilles tendon.
"This injury is very difficult,"
Halep said. "I thought I was ready, but I can't do a full match."
Halep said she hoped to play at the Sydney
International next week. Sharapova is heading directly to Melbourne to prepare
for the Australian Open, which starts Jan. 18.
Sharapova won the Brisbane and Rome titles
in 2015 and lost the final of the Australian Open to Serena Williams, who added
the French Open and Wimbledon titles and was two match victories from a season
Grand Slam when she lost to Roberta Vinci in the US Open semi-finals.
Vinci moved into the Brisbane International
quarterfinals with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over 2014 Australian Open finalist
Dominika Cibulkova on Tuesday. She'll meet either 2009 champion Azarenka or
Ysaline Bonaventure in the last eight.
Also advancing were No 6-seeded Carla
Suarez Navarro, who beat Sam Stosur 6-1, 6-7 (3), 6-4, and Anastasia
Pavlyuchenkova, who held off Alize Cornet 6-2, 1-6, 6-4.
Among the men progressing in Brisbane were
No 6 David Goffin, who beat Thomaz Bellucci 6-4, 6-4, and No 8 Dominic Thiem,
who held off local James Duckworth 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.
In New Zealand, top-seeded Venus Williams
lost to 18-year-old Russian Daria Kasatkina 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-2, and Ivanovic was
beaten by British qualifier Naomi Broady 7-5, 6-4.
Of the three former No 1s
in action, only third-seeded Caroline Wozniacki advanced, 6-4, 6-4 over Danka