The Mutua Madrid Open 2016 lost its last Spanish representative in the WTA draw on Wednesday after eighth seed Carla Suárez was knocked out in three sets by Samantha Stosur. The Canary Islands player did everything in her power to progress to the quarter-finals but she was battling not just the tenacious Australian on court, but also a respiratory problem deriving from a fever she had been carrying since Monday that prevented her from playing at her highest level.
Despite playing through illness, Suárez managed to take the match to three sets but eventually lost 6-4, 2-6, 3-6. “I’m on home soil, this tournament is very important to me and I didn’t want to let the fans down,” Suárez said while fighting back tears on centre court. “It wouldn’t have done any good to stay in my room, at the end of the day we live for this. People buy tickets to come and watch us and play and I didn’t want to let them down. Sport isn’t just about winning trophies; you have to show that you can overcome adversity and coming here to play was the only option.”
The world number eight received a huge ovation from a packed Manolo Santana Stadium after the match. “I gave it everything, I made a big effort but I wasn’t able to play to my usual level. I went out on court for the fans, they showed me a lot of affection and the crowd were a 10 out of 10,” added Suárez, who will now look towards her next scheduled tournament in Rome.