Roland Garros proved a stride too far, literally, for Latvian dark horse Ernests Gulbis on Sunday as he was forced to retire with a hamstring injury after doing the splits against Frenchman Julien Benneteau.
The 23rd seed was already a set and 2-1 down when he inadvertently performed a gymnastics-type move in the corner while trying to recover from reaching a wide backhand.
He returned to the court after treatment but was clearly restricted and the 21-year-old, who beat world number one and defending French Open champion Roger Federer in Rome recently, threw in the towel trailing 6-4 6-2 1-0.
“When I returned a serve, 2-1, second set, I stretched my leg, my hamstrings, and I heard two cracks,” Gulbis told reporters. “I don’t know what is it. I’m going to get an MRI in hospital and check it. I hope it’s nothing serious.”
Gulbis, a player who has finally been delivering on his potential this year, said he hoped to be fit for the grasscourt season after an encouraging claycourt swing.
“I will try not to be pessimistic for the grass court season,” he said. “Obviously I love grass. I love the tournaments there. There are not many tournaments. Queen’s, Wimbledon, I really enjoy, I enjoy playing on grass.”
(Reporting by Julien Pretot; editing by Miles Evans; To query or comment on this story email email@example.com)