Sad end to Aussie teen prodigy’s Aus Open hopes after incredible recovery from debilitating injury in qualifying win
Australian tennis rising star Melisa Ercan has been forced to withdraw from qualifying for the Australian Open main draw, having failed to recover from a calf injury in time for her second-round match.
The 18-year old suffered a debilitating calf cramp in her first-round match against Yuriko Miyazaki while 6-4, 4-1 up.
However, despite reportedly being told to consider forfeiting by medical staff, she bravely fought on, losing her break advantage before recovering to win the second set via a tie-break, 7-5.
The win was a significant one, with Miyazaki ranked more than 300 places above her, with the teenager coming back from a 3-1 deficit in the first set to win the next eight consecutive matches before injury struck.
Still feeling the effects despite her victory, Ercan ended the match in tears and was forced to leave the court in a wheelchair.
However, she was unable to produce a repeat of her Lazarus-like recovery on Thursday, handing Chinese opponent Sijia Wei a walkover into the third and final round.
Ranked 511th in the world, the teenager was born in Turkey before emigrating to Queensland last year.
The tournament was her grand slam debut, having been granted a wildcard into the qualifying draw by Tennis Australia.