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Top seed Elina Svitolina withdraws from Malaysian Open

By The Sports Xchange
Top seed Elina Svitolina withdraws from Malaysian Open
Elina Svitolina of Ukraine. Photo by David Silpa/UPI | License Photo

Defending champion and top seed Elina Svitolina withdrew from the Alya WTA Malaysian Open prior to her second-round match Wednesday with a leg injury.

The 22-year-old Ukranian and world No. 10 defeated Su Jeong Jang 6-2, 6-3 in the first round Tuesday for her 13th consecutive victory after winning back-to-back tournaments, including the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Saturday.

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"I was looking forward to coming back to Kuala Lumpur to defend my title and I was excited to play here but, unfortunately, I have to withdraw because of a lower leg injury," Svitolina said. "I was struggling in my final match in Dubai and I was hoping to recover but even though I won (Tuesday), I need to make sure I take care of my body for the rest of the season."

Svitolina's injury created a walkover into the quarterfinals for Japan's Nao Hibino, who said: "Honestly, I was excited about top-10 player, so it's little bit disappointing."

In second-round matches played Wednesday, Kai-Lin Zhang of China ousted Risa Ozaki of Japan 6-2, 6-4 while Lesley Kerkhove of the Netherlands defeated Sabina Sharipova of Uzbekistan 6-4, 6-4 in a matchup of qualifiers.

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