Rybakina wins Rome title after ailing Kalinina retires

tennis20 May 2023 22:20| © Reuters
article image
Elena Rybakina © Getty Images

World number six Elena Rybakina warmed up for the French Open by capturing the Italian Open title on Saturday after her Ukrainian opponent Anhelina Kalinina was forced to retire with an apparent left leg injury while trailing 6-4 1-0.

Moscow-born Kazakh Rybakina got off to an edgy start in the rain-delayed contest by dropping her opening service game before the Wimbledon champion levelled at 3-3 and then wrapped up the opening set with a late break.

Kalinina, playing in the second singles final of her career, called the trainer on to the court after losing the opening game of the second set before quitting the match in tears.

Victory ensured Australian Open runner-up Rybakina won her second title of the year following her Indian Wells triumph and fifth overall.

The 23-year-old, who won three of her matches in Rome after her opponents retired, will break into the top five on Monday.

She also reached the final in Miami and heads to Roland Garros as a top contender for the year's second major.