Players succumb to stomach bug at Indian Wells

Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:44pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

INDIAN WELLS, California (Reuters) - Intestinal fortitude has become a prized commodity at Indian Wells where Vera Zvonareva and Gael Monfils are among eight players who have succumbed to a widespread viral infection.

Russian Zvonareva, the ninth seed in the WTA tournament, withdrew from her scheduled third-round match on Sunday, gifting Czech Klara Zakopalova a spot in the next round.

Earlier in the day, Frenchman Monfils, the 14th seed in the ATP event, American Vania King and Austrian Juergen Melzer also pulled out because of stomach problems.

"I'm really sorry to withdraw from the tournament but unfortunately I'm not feeling well enough to compete today," Zvonareva, a 12-times winner on the WTA Tour, said in a statement.

"Hopefully I can recover from the illness and play in the next event (in Miami) but today I just don't feel that I can go out there and perform well enough."

Monfils, who had been set to play his first match against Russian Nikolay Davydenko in the second round, was replaced by lucky loser Bjorn Phau of Germany.

King, who won her first WTA title in Paris last month, had already played two matches in the California desert and her pullout handed 18th-seeded German Angelique Kerber a place in the fourth round.

‘WORST NIGHTS'   Continued...

Vania King of the U.S. hits a return to Ana Ivanovic of Serbia during their women's singles match at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 21, 2012. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside