Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina pulled out of the French Open ahead of her third-round match because of illness.
The fourth seed was one of the favourites for the title having enjoyed a brilliant season and won the Italian Open in Rome last month.
She won both her first two matches comfortably against teenagers Brenda Fruhvirtova and Linda Noskova but withdrew minutes before she was due to take to Philippe Chatrier to face Sara Sorribes Tormo.
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Rybakina said: “I was not feeling good already yesterday and the day before, so I didn’t sleep two nights and had some fever. Today I really tried in the warm-up but I feel that the right decision is to withdraw, because it’s really tough to play with these conditions.
“I saw the doctor and they said that actually it’s all a virus here in Paris. I guess with my allergy, immune system just went down and I picked up something. It’s difficult to perform and obviously to run and even breathe. So I think that was the only right decision I could make.
“Today I just wanted to give 100 per cent and obviously I’m far from being 100 per cent. It was unlucky for me. I just try to recover and do my best to be prepared for the grass season already.”
The timing is hugely unfortunate for the 23-year-old, who has established herself at the top of the tree in women’s tennis alongside Aryna Sabalenka and Iga Swiatek and was seeded to meet the Pole in the semi-finals.
“Of course I’m really upset not to be able to play but I guess that’s life,” added the Kazakhstan player. “There is a lot of ups and downs.”
Rybakina is due to play her first grass-court tournament in Berlin beginning on June 19 before heading to Eastbourne as she builds up to the defence of her Wimbledon title.