American Amanda Anisimova advanced to the fourth round of the French Open on Friday after Czech Karolina Muchova was forced to retire due to an ankle injury she suffered during the match.
The 25-year-old Muchova, a former world No. 19, reached the Australian Open semifinals in 2021 and is also a two-time quarterfinalist at Wimbledon but the Czech's last 12 months have been hampered by injuries.
Muchova, who ousted title-contender and Greek fourth seed Maria Sakkari in her previous match, got her left thigh taped during a medical timeout off the court after winning the opening set by overturning a 5-1 deficit in the tie-breaker.
But there was more physical trouble in store for her when she rolled over her right ankle and fell while trying to hit a return at 2-2 in the second set.
She hid her face in her towel and cried under the overcast sky on Court Suzanne Lenglen as the physiotherapist heavily taped Muchova's right ankle and although she tried to play through the pain, she did not manage to win another game.
Anisimova was leading 6-7(7), 6-2, 3-0 when Muchova, who continued to cry during the changeovers and hit a ball out of court in frustration, finally advanced to the net to confirm that she could no longer continue.
"It's very tough and I feel really bad for her. She had a tough year with injuries," Anisimova said of her opponent in an interview on court.
Three years ago the 20-year-old Anisimova became the youngest American to reach the Roland Garros semifinals since Jennifer Capriati in 1990 and made headlines this year by defeating four-time major winner Naomi Osaka in her first round.
The American 27th seed will meet the winner of the match between Swiss Olympic champion Belinda Bencic and US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez of Canada for a place in the quarterfinals.