Yulia Putintseva moved into the second round at the Apia International Sydney after injury forced Belinda Bencic to retire in the second set.
WTA Staff

SYDNEY, Australia - Yulia Putintseva moved into the second round at the Apia International Sydney after injury forced Belinda Bencic to retire in the second set trailing 6-4, 2-3.

Though likely not the way she would have wanted, Putintseva notched her first win of the season against Bencic and booked herself a second round clash against the winner of Caroline Wozniacki and Monica Puig.

"It was very good quality for me, that first set," Putintseva said after the win. "Belinda was playing well, I was playing well and we had a lot of good rallies. But I'm really happy to get my first win of 2017 so far. Looking forward to my next match."

There were a lot of positives for Putintseva to take from the match, which she started with an early break after dragging Bencic all over the court with her heavy groundstrokes. After taking the lead in the opening game, the Kazakh refused to let go even after Bencic eventually evened the score at 3-3.

She kept pressure on the Swiss as the unforced errors began to pile up for her opponent - Bencic struck 19 winners during the match to Putintseva's 17 but recorded three times as many unforced errors, with 21 to seven.

Last week, Bencic suffered a toe injury in Perth while representing Switzerland at the Hopman Cup along with Roger Federer, and seemed like she felt some lingering discomfort today, calling the trainer after Putintseva served out the opening set.

Bencic's movement was visibly hampered, the Swiss hobbling around the court and struggling to get any power behind her serve and despite two brave efforts to carry on she saw herself forced to retire from the match.