Virus-hit Schiavone, Kvitova exit

Virus-hit Schiavone, Kvitova exit

The widespread viral infection at Indian Wells claimed two big names on Monday as former French Open winner Francesca Schiavone and Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova both pulled out.

Italian Schiavone, who won her only Grand Slam singles title at Roland Garros in 2010, withdrew during her third-round match in the WTA tournament when trailing Czech Lucie Safarova 2-6.  Czech Kvitova, who had already been ousted as the third seed from the singles draw on Sunday, pulled out of her women’s doubles match on Monday citing a stomach bug.

According to officials, eight players have withdrawn from the tournament because of the virus, which local health authorities have described as a 48-hour bug transmitted by air and direct contact and not via food.

“I have had it before a few years ago and it’s not pretty,” Russian Maria Sharapova told reporters on Monday. “It’s a great diet, but other than that it’s horrible, especially for an athlete. But it’s pretty tough, considering you can’t really escape it too much.”

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