Rising star Sloane Stephens’ Australian Open preparation suffered an untimely setback with a wrist injury at the Hopman Cup on Friday.
The 20-year-old American, ranked 12th in the world, retired after dropping the first set 6-3 in her singles clash with the Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova.
Stephens is hoping to be fit in time for the Australian Open where she reached the semifinals last year, beating countrywoman Serena Williams in the quarterfinals before bowing out to Victoria Azarenka.
The tie, which had no impact on the final, ended up being awaded to the Czech Republic 3-0 after John Isner withdrew from his scheduled match against Radek Stepanek, citing an ankle injury.
Canadian Milos Raonic was substituted to play in Isner’s place and went down in a tight three-setter to Stepanek 5-7 6-3 7-6(4).
Australians Bojana Bobusic and Oliver Anderson then played in Stephens’ and Isner’s place going down to Stepanek and Kvitova 8-3 in a super set.