Sabine Lisicki’s misfortune with injuries continued as she withdrew from her doubles match at the Linz WTA event as she collapsed on court after injuring her knee on Monday.
Lisicki, and partner Jodie Burrage of Great Britain, were 6-5 on serve against Yana Sizikova and Ulrikke Eikeri in the opening set when the German picked up a seemingly serious injury while retrieving. The 31-year-old was seen crumpled on court and weeping in what may end up being her last match of the season.
Former Wimbledon finalist Lisicki, who calls herself the ‘smiling fighter’, had lost in the second round of qualifying in singles on Sunday.
“I’m disappointed about a few things in my game today…fought with all I had,” Lisicki wrote on social media after going down 2-6, 6-1, 6-3 to fourth seed Tereza Martincova in the qualifiers.
“Have to keep working to keep moving in the right direction.”
But the German suffered another injury setback during the opening round in doubles.
— Saraya (@Sarayatennis) November 9, 2020
Lisicki, known for serving rockets, holds the record for the fastest serve in women’s tennis – 210.8 kmph in 2014, and once held the record for the most number of aces in a match – 27 against Belinda Bencic in 2015.
She reached the final of Wimbledon in 2013 and peaked at a career high of No 12 in the rankings in 2012.
But her career has been beset by injuries in the last decade. She suffered an ankle injury in 2010, before coming back stronger than ever before. A shoulder injury hampered her through the 2014 season and a knee injury flared up a year later.
She has been unable to recover to top form since: from No 18 in the world in 2015 she dropped to 92 at the end of 2016 and then to 335 at the end of 2019.
Lisicki is currently ranked 690, which means she doesn’t get an automatic entry into WTA events. If the knee injury scare on Monday is as serious as it looks, she may have to steel herself for another comeback battle.