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Injury-hampered Madison Keys out in Wuhan first round

© AFP/File | Madison Keys, seen in action during the 2017 US Open tournament, in New York, on September 2

WUHAN (CHINA) (AFP) - 

US Open finalist Madison Keys tumbled out of the first round at the Wuhan Open Monday, losing to US qualifier Varvara Lepchenko after struggling to overcome a long-standing wrist injury.

The 22-year-old American 10th seed fell 6-2, 7-6 in her first WTA event since losing to Sloane Stephens in the final at Flushing Meadows.

Keys, the world number 12, called a medical timeout early in the second set and looked close to tears as she examined her left wrist, which has twice needed surgery in the past.

Keys had chances to level the match in the second set but Lepchenko saved two set points to hold at 5-5, before taking the tiebreak 7-4.

Lepchenko, ranked 79 in the world, will play either Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands or Romanian Monica Niculescu in the second round.

© 2017 AFP