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Elena Rybakina withdraws from French Open 2023 due to illness ahead of third-round tie

Elena Rybakina withdraws from French Open 2023 due to illness ahead of third-round tie

World no.4 Elena Rybakina on Saturday pulled out of her third-round match in the women’s singles draw of the 2023 French Open against Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo due to an upper respiratory illness. The reigning Wimbledon champion made the announcement just moments before she took the court on Saturday.

Kazakhstan's Elena Rybakina addresses a press conference (AFP)
Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina addresses a press conference (AFP)

The 23-year-old told reporters after her second-round match that she was feeling ill and while she believed that she could recover, Rybakina struggled during a 10-minute workout session on the court.

“I saw the doctor and they said that actually it’s all a virus here in Paris. I guess with my allergy, immune system just went down and I picked up something. As I said, I was not sleeping well for two days. I had fever, headache. I think you can hear [my voice] also. So, yeah, it’s difficult to perform and obviously to run and even breathe. So I think that was the only right decision I could make,” she explained.

Rybakina was among the top contenders to threaten Iga Swiatek’s bid for a third French Open title at Stade Roland Garros after an impressive run in the first half of the calendar year where she won two WTA 1000 titles while also making her second Grand Slam final of her career, at the Australian Open in January. The Kazakh had build a certain momentum so far in her campaign after defeating Brenda Fruhvirtova and Linda Noskova in in the first two rounds respectively. In fact, her win against the Czech was her eighth victory in a row.

“Of course I’m really upset not be able to play, but I guess that’s life,” Rybakina said. “There is a lot of ups and downs. Today I just wanted to give 100 percent, and obviously I’m far from being 100 percent.

“Yeah, I was actually coming positive here, but as I said, you never know how you’re gonna feel. Was unlucky for me. Yeah, I just try to recover and do my best to be prepared for the grass season already.”

Rybakina will next return for the grasscourt seaon where she will play in Berlin and Eastbourne before she heads to London to defend her Wimbledon crown.

With Rybakina out, Sorribes Tormo makes it to the round of 16 via walkover, for the first time in her career in a Grand Slamn tournament. She will face the winner of 14th-seed Beatriz Haddad Maia or 23rd-seed Ekaterina Alexandrova.


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