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Tim Puetz and his Danish doubles partner Freddie Nielsen were forced to forfeit their Qatar Open quarterfinal following the German’s temporary loss of sight.
The pair were looking to bounce back with an early break after losing the opening set 6-3 to top seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, but the match would come to a premature end.
As Puetz tried to return a huge serve by diving to his left, his racket slipped from grasp as his head was just a metre from the hard outdoor surface.
In what turned out to be a game-ending bit of misfortune, his racket bounced back with a vengeance and the end of the handle hit him directly in the eye socket.
After crouching in pain, an official brought out a chair for Puetz to sit on and a bag of ice to try and ease any swelling that would come from the collision.
He said: “I cannot see very well. Freddie I can see pretty well, thats when I’m stationary. But if I look around I can’t see very well.”
Doubles specialist Puetz, 33, has made over £500,000 in prize money during his career, and reached a career high ranking of No. 56 back in 2020.
His best outing at a Grand Slam came at the French Open last year alongside Nielsen, in which they were eliminated by their Qatar Open opponents Cabal and Farah.
The umpire announced after some deliberation: “Mr Puetzis forced to retire.”
Opponent Farah said in his post-match interview: "I feel very sorry for Tim.
"It's something none of us want, to get hit in the eye, and I really hope he recovers really well."
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