Swiatek retires out of Italian Open due to injury

World number six Elena Rybakina moved to the semifinals of the ongoing Italian Open after two-time defending champion Iga Swiatek was forced to retire due to an injury to her right thigh.

The reigning Wimbledon champion on Wednesday moved to her first-ever Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) 1000 semifinal on clay as Swiatek retired with the game at 2-6, 7-6(3), 2-2. Rybakina is now 3-2 versus the reigning World No. 1 after victories against Swiatek at the Australian Open and Indian Wells earlier this year. This is the 23-year-old’s third WTA 1000 semifinal of the season. Swiatek’s retirement ends her 14-match win streak at the Foro Italico venue.

Swiatek’s clay-court dominance was on display, and she looked to move on to the semifinal. She came out of a slide wincing on the penultimate point of the second-set tiebreak. During the set break, she took a medical timeout and returned with strapping around her upper right leg.

Swiatek eagerly tested her movement when play resumed for four games. Swiatek walked to the net to shake hands after Rybakina held service to 2-2, bringing the 2-hour and 20-minute duel to a close.

Rybakina will lock horns with world number 20 Jelena Ostapenko in the semifinals on Friday. Playing her third quarterfinal at the Italian Open, Ostapenko defeated Paula Badosa to advance to her first semifinal. Ostapenko won the match 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 on Wednesday.

The world number 47, Anhelina Kalinina, also registered one of the biggest wins of her career by defeating Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-7(2), 7-6(6), 6-3 to move to the semifinals. The match lasted 3 hours and 41 minutes and was the biggest of the 2023 WTA Tour season. Kalinina will lock horns with world number 12 Veronika Kudermetova in the semifinals on Friday. Veronika defeated world number 21 Zheng Qinwen 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to make it to her second successive semifinal at WTA 1000 events.

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