"Do not feel well enough": Defending champion Elena Rybakina withdraws from Rome Open with illness

WTA
Friday, 10 May 2024 at 13:00
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World number four Elena Rybakina has withdrawn from the Rome Open because of illness. The 24-year-old is having a fabulous season where she has already played in four finals where she won twice and suffered two defeats.
However, during the recently concluded Madrid Open, Rybakina criticised the current schedule, which according to her is making it difficult for the players ahead of the mega-event.
Rybakina, on Friday, issued a statement, just hours before the start of her second round fixture against Irina-Camelia Begu, where she stated that she will not take part in the mega-event because she is not feeling ‘well-enough’ to play the competition.
"I am disappointed to have to withdraw from Rome this year, but unfortunately I do not feel well enough to compete,” she said. “I have such good memories from last year and was looking forward to defending my title. Rome is so special to me, and I look forward to being back next year to reclaim my title and play in front of the Italian fans." The development can be termed as a major setback for the Moscow-born as she was set to defend her title this year in Rome. In 2023, Rybakina won the Rome Open after her opponent Anhelina Kalinina had to retire in the second set. She has previously suffered with illness though.
This time last year, she was in the form of her life going into Roland Garros but had to withdraw due to illness and could barely pick up a racquet ahead of Wimbledon. She also had gastrointestinal flu before Indian Wells so has very much been stop start this season too. She will now not play until Roland Garros. It is now a common theme for the Kazakh who continues to struggle to string constant results together without illness or setbacks.

Elena Rybakina withdraws from Rome due to illness. Defending champion is out. Just like at Indian Wells, she misses the chance to defend her title. Can’t imagine how tough this is for her. She’s been one of the best players on tour this year by a long shot. Hoping she’s…

📸REUTERS
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