Ajla Tomljanovic, sidelined nearly all this season by a knee injury after beating Serena Williams last year in the 23-time Grand Slam singles champion’s final match, withdrew from the US Open on Wednesday.
That sent No. 4 seed Elena Rybakina into the third round and forced the US Tennis Association to juggle the schedule, with their match having been slated for the night session.
Tomljanovic hadn’t played a match this season until her first-round victory over Panna Udvardy. The Australian had knee surgery and had been out of action since the Billie Jean King Cup last November.
She said after her victory Monday night that she was realistic that her knee still needed more time.
“I don’t even want to think about the rest of the season,” Tomljanovic said. “But it doesn’t matter. I’m always going to do what’s best for my long-term recovery. I definitely still need to go back to the drawing board and get stronger and fitter if I want to compete, not in just one match, but looking at second weeks and stuff like that.”
Tomljanovic matched her best result in a Grand Slam when she reached the quarterfinals last year, falling to eventual runner-up Ons Jabeur. That came after she beat Williams in three sets in the third round.
The match between American Jennifer Brady and No. 24 seed Magda Linette was shifted to the opening spot of the night schedule at Louis Armstrong Stadium.
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