Illness rules Kvitova out of US Open

Illness scuppered Petra Kvitova’s US Open bid as she was easily beaten by American Aliske Riske in the third round in New York.

Illness rules Kvitova out of US Open

Illness scuppered Petra Kvitova’s US Open bid as she was easily beaten by American Aliske Riske in the third round in New York.

Former Wimbledon champion Kvitova revealed after the 6-3 6-0 defeat that she has been struggling with a virus and will have more blood tests before returning home.

The seventh seed said: “Unfortunately I was lying in bed yesterday and I had a fever, so I didn’t come to site yesterday.

“My body didn’t help me today to move. I tried to play, I tried to fight, but my body wouldn’t let me fight.

“It’s unlucky at a grand slam. I will take it for this year and next year will be better.”

Kvitova suffered from a similar problem at Wimbledon this year, where she lost in the quarter-finals to Kirsten Flipkens.

Riske, who was ranked outside the top 200 in February, has had a rapid rise.

The 23-year-old reached the third round at Wimbledon and will climb again from her current ranking of 81.

She said: “It was really emotional for me. It’s just really cool because I feel like I’m playing within myself. I’m not doing anything crazy. It just feels really comfortable. It’s exciting.”

Riske is one of a whole group of young Americans taking women’s tennis by storm, and it looked like Christina McHale would join her when she served for the match in the second set against 13th seed Ana Ivanovic.

But the Serb fought back to win 4-6 7-5 6-4 and next meets second seed Victoria Azarenka, who was also involved in a major battle against France’s Alize Cornet before coming through 6-7 (2/7) 6-3 6-2.

Azarenka has won her last three meetings against Ivanovic but was pushed hard in the most recent match in Carlsbad last month.

Ivanovic is out for revenge and said: “I was really close I felt (in Carlsbad). I have a game that can challenge the top players. I look forward to that opportunity.

“That’s why I’m also very happy to pull through matches like this. Now I have a day to recover, recuperate, get ready for that match.

“It’s going to be tough. But I really want to take on that challenge as a positive thing.”

Azarenka and Cornet’s match was very similar to their last meeting at the same stage of the French Open, and the second seed was relieved to be through.

Azarenka said: “I don’t think I played my best tennis today for sure, but I have to give her credit. She played really well.

“The dynamic of the match was a little bit weird for me. I felt like I didn’t take my opportunities in the first set, which was kind of a waste and it gave her, I think, a lot of confidence and she really came up with the great shots when she needed with big serves.

“I’ve actually never seen her serve like that before, so that’s definitely a big improvement from her side.

“I’m glad that I could turn things around in the second and third sets. There was more me playing, more finding the rhythm. I felt much better in the third set than in the first set.”

Romania’s Simona Halep continued her remarkable run by thrashing 14th seed Maria Kirilenko 6-1 6-0.

Halep, who came close to losing to Britain’s Heather Watson in round one, has won four of her last seven tournaments and meets Italy’s Flavia Pennetta in the last 16 after she knocked out former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-5 6-1.

Riske plays Daniela Hantuchova, who saved four match points against Julia Glushko of Israel on her way to a 3-6 7-5 7-6 (7/4) victory.

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