American tennis star Amanda Anisimova has retired in the middle of her Indian Wells second round match just minutes after she failed to convert four match points.
The 20-year-old had a mental break down at the end of the second set when her opponent, Canadian Leylah Fernandez, stormed through to win the second set tiebreak 7-0.
Fernandez had to come back from 40-0 down while Anisimova served for the match at 5-4 in the second set.
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The TV commentators in the United States said they had concerns for Anisimova’s mental health just days after it was confirmed she had abruptly cut ties with Aussie coach Darren Cahill.
Rumors swirled about a rift between the two surrounding prize money, however, it was cleared up that Cahill had decided to end his partnership with Anisimova as a result of feeling “burnt out” while traveling the world under the WTA Tour’s Covid-19 protocols.
Anisimova had been in spectacular form this month, winning the lead-up event to Indian Wells — The Eisenhower Cup.
And she looked on track to win through to the third round when she took the first set 6-2.
She looked a completely different person when she rushed from the court at the end of the second set before the chair umpire could even ask for a doctor to attend to her on the court.
There was a moment of extreme confusion as Anisimova walked to the umpire’s chair after losing the tiebreak and appeared to announce she was retiring.
It clearly caught the umpire by surprise and she asked Anisimova to wait for a tournament medical official.
Anisimova was already walking off and waving to the crowd before the chair umpire could make contact with the official via the tournament radio communications.
“Can you wait for supervisor because it’s all of a sudden let’s wait,” the chair umpire could be heard saying.
“Amanda please wait for the supervisor, thank you.”
She then spoke into the radio to say: “Amanda wants to retire, she says she’s really sick please come to the court as soon as possible.”
The umpire then turned to Fernandez to say: “OK Leylah, it’s finished”.
The WTA confirmed after the match the official reason for Anisimova’s medical retirement was “illness”.
no. 18 seed Fernandez said at the end of the match: “When she told me she was sick, the first thing that came to mind is I hope she’s feeling better and we can have another match like this one”.