Rybakina Claims Rome Masters Clay Title After Kalinina Retirement
For the second time in three matches, Elena Rybakina didn’t have to finish a match at the Rome Masters. On Wednesday, the Wimbledon champion was given a retirement from Iga Swiatek in their quarterfinal. And yesterday in the final, it happened again as Ukrainian surprise Anhelina Kalinina had to retired down 6-4, 1-0 due to a left thigh injury.
The final was delayed several hours due to continued rain in Rome, and the match didn’t start until after 11pm local time.
It was Kalinina jumping out ahead early 3-1 but Rybakina found the from and the range taking the six of the next seven games.
Down 1-0 in the second, Kalinina approached the chair and called for treatment. After a discussing with the doctor the 26-year-old retired in tears.
Rybakina wins another WTA 1000 title, her second of the year after taking Indian Wells in March. It’s her fifth overall career title. Of the five biggest WTA events this season, Rybakina has made the finals of four of them winning two.
“Of course, happy with the title,” Rybakina said WTA. “Not the way I want to finish this match.
“It’s been great, I think, results for Anhelina. She played some tough battles. Really happy for her improvement. Hopefully she can continue like this. Pity she couldn’t finish the match. I hope that it’s nothing serious. So hopefully she can recover quick and she can continue like this.”
“I’m proud that I can maintain this level,” Rybakina added. “It’s not easy, with all the scheduling, traveling. I think we’re doing a good job with the team. I can see improvements on the court, physically also. I think we’re on a right way.”
Kalinina was seeking her first career title. This was just her second career final.
“I feel like I am at my physical limit today especially,” Kalinina said. “Today, yeah, I started, but after, I don’t know, two, three games, I couldn’t. I was trying, but it was absolutely impossible.
“I’m most proud of my fighting spirit these two weeks. I was fighting despite the score, any situation, any weather conditions, opponents. Everyone was very tough. A serious draw.”
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