Madison Keys withdraws in vs. Jasmine Paolini, ends Wimbledon run due to injury

Fighting off tears, and with a spot in the Wimbledon women’s quarterfinals on the line, an emotional Madison Keys was forced to retire due to injury from her fourth-round match on Sunday against Jasmine Paolini.

The timing of the injury was particularly unfortunate for Keys, who carried a steady lead in the match before she suffered an upper left leg injury in the eighth game of the final set. At the time, Keys was up 5-2 in the set, and taking the set would’ve won her the match. After suffering the injury, Keys was visibly limping but tried to press through. When both players were switching ends with the score in the set at 5-4, Keys took a 10-minute medical timeout to treat the ailment.

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She later returned to the match with significant bandage around her leg, but her movement continued to be notably impaired. Paolini immediately broke serve and then Keys attempted to fight through the issue. Paolini, however, hit a drop shot near the net that Keys did not even attempt to chase down, forcing Keys to retire.

Keys officially dropped the match – 6-3, 6-7(6), 5-5 Ret. – ending her quest for her third career Wimbledon quarterfinal singles appearance (2015, 2023). She continued to cry as she walked off the court.

“I am so sorry for her,” Paolini said during her on-court interview immediately after the match. “To end the match like this, it’s bad, what can I say? We played a really good match. It was really tough. A lot of ups and downs. I’m feeling a little bit happy, but also sad for her. It’s not easy to win like that.”

Keys, 29, is currently ranked No. 13 in the Women’s Tennis Association; she was the 12th seed at Wimbledon.

Paolini, 28, is ranked seventh in the WTA, and will be appearing in her first career Wimbledon quarterfinal, against the winner of the match between defending U.S. Open champion Coco Gauff and Emma Navarro. In her last grand slam appearance, at the French Open at Roland Garros, Paolini reached the final before losing 6-2, 6-1 to World No. 1 Iga Świątek.

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