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Elise Mertens retires from match in Istanbul due to leg injury

Tennis: Miami Open

Mar 25, 2022; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Elise Mertens (BEL) hits a backhand against Linda Fruhvirtova (CZE) (not pictured) in a second round women’s match in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

ISTANBUL -- Top-seeded Elise Mertens retired from her opening match at the clay-court Istanbul Championship because of a leg injury.

The 26-year-old Belgian was losing 7-5, 4-1 to Sweden’s Rebecca Peterson when she retired with pain in her right leg. Mertens was runner-up to Sorana Cirstea last year.

Croatian player Petra Martic upset fourth-seeded Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (5).

Later, Cirstea faces Dutch player Arantxa Rus in the second round. The 32-year-old Romanian last year ended a 13-year wait for her second career singles title when she upset Mertens in the final.