Azarenka, Nadal conqueror Darcis among 5 withdrawals at Wimbledon

London, June 26 (IANS) Women’s singles No.2 seed Victoria Azarenka and Rafael Nadal’s conqueror Steve Darcis are among the five players who withdrew Wednesday from Wimbledon with injuries.

Belgian Darcis did not even make it onto the court to play his second round men’s singles match against Poland’s Lukasz Kubot because of a shoulder injury.

Azarenka had been scheduled to face Italy’s Flavia Pennetta in Wednesday’s first match on the Centre Court.

The Belarusian, who has reached the semifinals in her past two visits here, had fallen awkwardly in the second set of her first round match Monday against Maria Joao Koehler of Portugal. Despite being in pain, Azarenka hobbled to a 6-1, 6-2 victory. However, she could not step onto the court Wednesday.

Men’s singles No.10 seed Marin Cilic was also forced to withdraw with an injury to his left knee. The Croatian had been due to play Kenny de Schepper in the second round, having beaten Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus in the first.

American John Isner, who tweaked his left knee in the opening game against France’s Adrian Mannarino, retired with the score at 1-1. The tall American started his match looking in prime form, winning the opening game in less than a minute. However, the World No.21 began clutching his left knee and minutes later after a medical timeout, retired.

The Czech Republic’s Radek Stepanek was the fifth casualty of the day as he could not shake off a thigh problem and retired against Jerzy Janowicz.

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