Naomi Osaka ended a four-match losing run in unfortunate fashion in Tokyo when opponent Daria Saville retired injured in only the second game of the match.
Her career has been marred by injuries, including long-term knee and Achilles problems, and she has only recently returned to the top 100.
After a short forehand, Saville yelped in pain and collapsed to the court, clutching her left knee. She could have walked away but chose not to, shaking hands with Osaka after only 11 points.
Osaka has struggled with Achilles and back issues this year, and the former world number one had not won a match since the beginning of August.
“I feel really bad right now because of how it ended,” the Japanese player told the fans at Ariake Coliseum.
“I’ve been injured for most of the year so I just want people to clap for her because she’s a amazing player.”
She will take on Brazilian fifth seed Beatriz Haddad Maia in the second round.
Writing by Abdullahi Lamino; Edited by Julian Osamoto