ACAPULCO, Mexico, Feb. 28-- The 8th seed Zhang Shuai from China on Friday retired in her women's singles semifinal match against top seed Dominika Cibulkova at the Acapulco Open.
Ranked 50th, Zhang had a head to head record of 0-3 with Cibulkova. She lost to Cibulkova 6-0, 6-2 in the first round of China Open in 2011 in their last encounter.
Cibulkova did not start well with her first service game and gave three consecutive break points to Zhang, who took the last chance to reverse the game and then wrapped up her first service game of the match.
However, with the 2-0 lead in the first set, the Chinese player did not maintain the advantage and lost the following two games with more unforced errors and worse performance in her serves. She appeared to suffer a right arm injury in the fifth game, allowing Cibulkova to clinch the next two before Zhang was forced to withdraw from the match.
Zhang said after the match that she felt regret for her retirement from the tournament because of right arm's injury.
"In fact there is a good start for me in today's match, but I felt that I could not use right arm in my first service game, so I could not serve with normal speed," she said, adding that the speed of her first and second serve is only 150km/h and 120km/h, which is abnormal and affected her performance in the service game.
"My forehand doesn't work from the third game and my right arm is really hurting a lot when hitting the ball, so there is no way for me to continue the match," Zhang said.
Zhang added she looked forward to the match with Cibulkova because she was the runner-up of the Australia Open this year.
"I don't have disadvantages to Cibulkova in regard to height, serves or baseline. Even though she is the top seed of the tournament. I don't think she is invincible if I have better physical condition today as she and I are still evenly matched."
Cibulkova will face the U.S. player Christina McHale in the final, who dispatched France's Caroline Garcia France, 3-6, 6-2, 7-5.
After the Acapulco Open, Zhang will continue to participate in the following tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami Masters.
Currently Zhang's WTA world ranking has been among the top 50.