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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Venus Williams lasted just seven points in her third-round match Friday at the Australian Open, forced to withdraw due to injury from a Grand Slam singles match for the first time in her career.
After losing the first game to Andrea Petkovic of Germany and trailing in the second, Williams stretched to her right to return a serve, hit the ball and then cried out in pain, clutching toward her stomach on her right side. It was soon clear that she couldn't continue.
"Obviously I just couldn't play," Williams said. "I couldn't move, it was too painful."
Her right thigh was already heavily bandaged from an injury she sustained in the first set of her second-round match Wednesday, when she beat Sandra Zahlavova in three sets. Afterward, Williams said the injury was in her "psoas" muscle, which flexes the hip and spinal column.
"The last 48 hours, I just did as much pain management as I could," she said. "A lot of times when you play, you get that adrenalin and that blocks pain. I just didn't get enough of that today. I was hoping for some magic that I could recover."
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