BEIJING — Top-ranked Simona Halep retired Sunday from her first-round match at the China Open.
Halep lost the first set 6-1 to Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur before retiring with a back injury. She also had back problems at last week’s Wuhan Open.
It’s the fourth straight loss for the defending French Open champion.
Third-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany cruised past Kristina Mladenovic 6-2, 6-2 to reach the second round. The Wimbledon champion broke Mladenovic four times to extend her perfect record in opening-round matches at Beijing to nine.
Defending champion Caroline Garcia of France survived an early scare against Chinese wild card Wang Yafan to win 7-6 (10), 6-7 (4), 6-3.