Laura Robson’s return to action at the Hobart International was ended when she retired from her first-round match against Yanina Wickmayer owing to a wrist injury.
Robson was playing her first match of the season after the problem with her left hand forced her out of the ASB Classic in Auckland last week. The 19-year-old won the first set 6-4 but, after serving a double-fault to gift her Belgian opponent an early break in the second, she pulled out of the match.
It is a further setback for the British No 1 ahead of the Australian Open, which gets under way in her birth city of Melbourne on Monday.
Prior to the match, Robson had told the tournament’s official website: “It’s going to be my first match for 2014, so I’m very excited. I haven’t played a match so I don’t know how it is going to end up, but in practice it feels OK.”
Only days after her New Year’s Eve engagement to golfer Rory McIlroy, Caroline Wozniacki opened her new season with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 win over Julia Görges of Germany in the first round of the Sydney International.
Wozniacki withdrew from the Brisbane International last week after hurting her right shoulder in practice and struggled early on against Görges, who replaced the injured Sloane Stephens in the draw. Another former world No 1, Jelena Jankovic, lost 6-4, 6-2 to Ekaterina Makarova.
At Hobart, the top seed Sam Stosur battled into round two but fourth seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova crashed out.
Stosur was relieved after coming through three sets, and two tie-breaks, against American Madison Brengle – ranked 130 places below her at 147th in the world. Stosur lost the first set in a tie-break but stormed through the second 6-1 to level.
She broke to lead 4-3 in the third but wasted two match points at 5-4, allowing Brengle to break back and eventually set up another tie-break. Stosur had two more match points from 6-4 and eventually won 6-7, 6-1, 7-6 in two hours and 29 minutes.
“It’s obviously a big relief to get through that,” Stosur said. “I would have liked to have won 6-3 in the third but if it ends up being 7-6 and you go through all that extra emotion and extra few games, then I’m happy with that as well.”
Pavlyuchenkova suffered a shock defeat to Alison Riske of the United States. Riske won 6-3, 6-2 in a match twice held up by rain.
The second seed Kirsten Flipkens produced a dominant display against New Zealand’s Marina Erakovic, the Belgian winning 6-4, 6-1