Number 10 seed Victoria Azarenka was taken to hospital today after collapsing on court during her second-round match against Gisela Dulko at the US Open.
Azarenka keeled over over while serving at 15-30 and 5-1 down on the Grandstand Court, with medical staff rushing to treat the 21-year-old from Belarus, who was then taken off the court in a wheelchair.
On a sweltering day in New York it was initially thought the soaring temperatures were to blame, but Azarenka later revealed she had injured herself before going out on court.
“I was warming up in the gym prior to my match when I fell while running a sprint,” she said. “I fell forward and hit my arm and head. I was checked by the medical team before I went on court and they were courtside for monitoring.
“I felt worse as the match went on, having a headache and feeling dizzy. I also started having trouble seeing and felt weak before I fell.
“I was taken to the hospital for some medical tests and have been diagnosed with a mild concussion.”
Speaking about the incident earlier, Dulko said: “After that you don’t think about tennis, you are just worried about your opponent. Now she has gone to the hospital so I guess it’s something serious and I hope she is feeling good soon.”
Asked about the conditions, Dulko added: “I’m used to this kind of weather but first day when I went to practice I was feeling dizzy as well. It’s hard to play in these conditions and today I am much better because I have been here a few days, but it’s tough.”
A statement from US Open tournament referee Brian Earley, released before Azarenka’s, read: “Victoria Azarenka retired from her match with headache-like symptoms.
“She was taken to a nearby hospital for diagnostic testing. Out of respect to her privacy, we cannot give any more details. However, we can say that this does not seem to be primarily a heat-related illness.”