Rising star latest accused of tennis blight
The grey area around medical time-outs in tennis continues to frustrate players and fans.
Amanda Anisimova was the latest to be accused of calling for the trainer as a tactical move when she halted proceedings in the middle of a tie-breaker in her match against Donna Vekic at the Italian Open.
Anisimova won the first set and had match point in the second set before Vekic broke back to force another breaker.
It was 1-1 when the American 19-year-old held up her hand and walked off court.
"Really, now?" said a frustrated Vekic.
But Anisimova launched an immediate defence, arguing blisters had appeared on her right hand.
"It just happened," she said. "If I would have fell it would have been all of a sudden too."
The injury didn't stop Anisimova from claiming the second set tie-breaker and the match 7-6 7-6.
She later posted a photograph of her hand to social media to highlight the blisters.
It comes after Serena Williams was targeted by some fans after taking a medical time-out to have treatment on her Achilles late in her semi-final defeat against Victoria Azarenka at the US Open.
But the injury was cited as the reason Williams is not playing in Rome.
Elsewhere, former world number one Angelique Kerber fell to a straight sets defeat to Czech Katerina Siniakova on Tuesday as Russian seventh seed Andrey Rublev eased through to the second round of the men's tournament.
Three-time Grand Slam winner Kerber, seeded 15th in the Rome clay-court tournament being played behind closed doors at the Foro Italico, crashed out 6-3, 6-1 in 68 minutes.
Siniakova, ranked 61, achieved her first win over the 32-year-old German in four meetings and next plays either Daria Kasatkina or Vera Zvonareva, with the two Russians playing later.
Top women's seed Simona Halep opens against Italian wildcard Jasmine Paolini, with the Romanian warming up in the doubles on Tuesday, having skipped the US tournaments.
The switch from hard court at the US Open to clay proved tricky for Kerber, who reached the fourth round at Flushing Meadows.
The Rome tournament is a warm-up for the French Open on September 27, the only Grand Slam tournament which Kerber has not won.
Czech 12th seed Marketa Vondrousova, last year's Roland Garros runner-up, dropped a set before seeing off Japan's Misaki Doi 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.
In the men's event, US Open quarter-finalist Rublev eased past Argentine qualifier Facundo Bagnis 6-4, 6-4 and next meets Poland's Hubert Hurkacz.
Rublev hit 25 winners for his 20th match win of the season, winning two ATP Tour titles this year in Qatar and Adelaide before the season was suspended.
Australian John Millman recovered from 2-4 down in the second set to overcome lucky loser Joao Sousa 7-5, 7-6 (7/2) and next meets Argentine Diego Schwartzman.
- with AFP
Originally published as Rising star latest accused of tennis blight