Beijing - Eugenie Bouchard retired in tears
and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga suffered dizzy spells before crashing to his worst
defeat of the year in an incident-packed China Open first round on Monday.
Bouchard has not played since she was
concussed in a locker-room fall at the US Open, and she lasted just 10 games
against Andrea Petkovic before having her blood pressure checked and exiting in
The Canadian sobbed into her towel and was
comforted by Petkovic before she rose and walked out, waving grimly to the
crowd, with the score line standing 6-2, 1-1 to her opponent.
Earlier Tsonga refused to blame Beijing's
notorious air pollution as he was hit by dizzy spells before falling at the
first hurdle 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 to little-known Austrian Andreas Haider-Maurer.
Tsonga was down in the second set when he
staggered on court and took a time-out, in which he had his heartbeat checked
with a stethoscope and was given medication.
It was not long before the out-of-sorts
Tsonga limply succumbed to Haider-Maurer, who at world number 64 becomes the
lowest ranked player to beat the Frenchman this season.
The Chinese capital's air pollution was in
the "very unhealthy" range on Monday but eighth seed Tsonga said he
did not know if that was what caused his problem.
"I don't know. You know, nothing in me
can calculate if it's enough oxygen for me or not. I just play tennis. Today I
had an opponent, he was just better than me today," he shrugged.
Tsonga added: "I was like, dizzy. It
came just like this, on one run. After one run, I went back to play a return
and I feel a little bit dizzy. But I hope it's nothing important."
The departures of Tsonga and Bouchard come
after women's top seeds Simona Halep and Petra Kvitova, troubled by injury and
illness, both exited on Sunday.
The tail-end of the season has seen a
series of retirements and withdrawals, including Serena Williams' decision to
rest until next year. Maria Sharapova is also side-lined from Beijing with
World number one Novak Djokovic, unbeaten
in five appearances, heads the men's draw while third seed Flavia Pennetta, the
US Open champion, is now the on-paper favourite for the women's title.