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Karola Bejenaru forced to quit match through injury

By Robert Jones

Karola Bejenaru made a painful exit from the 10,000 dollar tournament in Sunderland yesterday as she was forced to retire from her second round match due to injury.

The 18-year-old Windsor player quit after losing the first set of her match with England's Harriet Dart 7-5 but, by reaching the last 16, she had already earned another world-ranking point.

Earlier, Bejenaru had risen up the list to a career-best of 877 after three successful weeks on the Futures tour.

However her chances of playing professionally in the French league for a six-week period are now hanging in the balance following yesterday's setback.

Her coach Przemek Stec had used his contacts to secure a contract for his protégée which would see her earn valuable cash to help offset the cost of continuing to compete on the professional tour.

"Karola had been carrying a slight injury for a couple of weeks and obviously aggravated it to such an extent that she was unable to serve properly, so she had no option but to retire." said Stec.

"She will be having the injury looked at tomorrow and we will have a better idea then what the extent of the damage is.

"She isn't due to travel to Paris until April, so at least she will have plenty of time to recover and I just hope the injury won't keep her out for that long.

"It's very unfortunate because she only recently recovered from an another injury which held her back and she had been doing really well at the tournaments in England over the past few weeks."

Meanwhile, unranked Thai player Jatuporn Nalamphun has been banned for 18 months and fined after being found guilty of offences under the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program.

The 22-year-old admitted to three offences of betting on tennis matches between July and November 2014 and was found guilty of a further offence of failing to co-operate with a Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) investigation, which he had contested.

Nalamphun has never held a ranking and his fine of $5,000 is significantly more than his career earnings of $682.

He is the first player to be sanctioned by the TIU since an independent review of tennis' anti-corruption processes was announced following allegations about match-fixing in the sport.

Rafael Nadal overcame some tricky conditions to beat Pablo Carreno Busta in his first round match at the Rio Open.

Top seed Nadal's opening game was interrupted by rain and, with strong winds continuing once it cleared, his 6-1 6-4 win over fellow Spaniard Carreno was met with a sense of relief.

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