On the physiotherapist’s advice, defending champion Elina Svitolina, was forced to withdraw from the ongoing ALYA Malaysian Open at TPC Kuala Lumpur today.

Svitolina, who won in Taipei early this month and in Dubai on Sunday, had marked her top world top 10 debut on Tuesday when she defeated qualifier Jang Jeong Su of South Korea (World No 148)with a 6-2, 6-3 in the first round of the ALYA Malaysian Open at TPC Kuala Lumpur.

However after the match Svitolina had expressed her concern over her left Achilles injury which was bothering her during the match.

“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. I was struggling in my final match in Dubai and I was hoping to recover but even though I won yesterday, I need to make sure I take care of my body for the rest of the season” said Svitolina today after her withdrawal from the tournament.

Tournament director, Keld Kristiansen said today that WTA supervisor Chen Su has confirmed Svitolina’s withdrawal.

“As much as Elina wanted to defend her title and continue her good streak from the last two tournament victories, she was forced to withdraw in her best interest on the advice of her physiotherapist,” said Kristiansen.

“The Achilles inflammation was serious and it was not advisable for her to continue. It was best she rested and recovered completely to prevent aggravating her injury further.”

Kritiansen said that Japan’s Nao Hibino who had defeated Belgium’s Maryna Zanevska in the first round (7-5, 4-6, 6-2), will get a walkover to secure her place in the quarterfinals.

The 22-year-old Svitolina, who has won six tour titles was scheduled to compete in the Indian Wells tournament in California next week.

Svitolina was on a 13-match winning streak. She is the 120th player to make her top 10 debut since the WTA Rankings were introduced on November 3, 1975.

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