Azarenka collapse dominates talk at steamy U.S. Open

Wed Sep 1, 2010 6:29pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Julian Linden

NEW YORK (Reuters) - One of the hottest summers New York has experienced claimed its first victim at the U.S. Open on Wednesday when Victoria Azarenka fainted on court and was taken to the hospital.

Andy Murray, once again shouldering the burden of British expectations, got quick relief from the roasting heat when he raced through his first round match in under two hours, but his straight-sets win was overshadowed by Azarenka's frightening collapse.

The 10th-seeded Belarussian, wearing a black dress, dropped to the court in the first set of her match against Argentina's Gisela Dulko with headache-like symptoms.

Medical staff came to her aid and she was whisked away in a wheelchair as a medical official checked her pulse and then to a waiting ambulance for tests at a nearby hospital, ending her bid to win this year's U.S. Open.

"I was scared," Dulko later told reporters. "She went to the floor. I was worried for her."

Azarenka quit a match at the Australian Open last year that was played in a once-a-century heatwave but U.S. Open officials said the severe weather was not the only cause of her tumble.

Local television reported that she slipped and fell before her match and sought medical help but officials could not confirm the report.

"Out of respect to her privacy, we can not give any more details," tournament referee Brian Earley said in a statement. "However, we can say that this does not seem to be primarily a heat-related illness."   Continued...

<p>Victoria Azarenka of Belarus collapses on the court during her match against Gisela Dulko of Argentina during the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, September 1, 2010. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz</p>