Italian Open: Elena Rybakina claims her maiden crown in Roma!
by ABBEY JOHNSON | VIEW 2434
The Italian Open final ended on a sad note after rain and injury wreaked havoc on Sunday. Elena Rybakina won the title after her opponent, Anhelina Kalinina was forced to stop play with an injury to her left thigh. Rybakina was leading 6-4, 1-0 and 65 minutes had lapsed into the match when Kalinina called time.
Earlier, the match had to be rescheduled to post 11:00 PM local time after rain forced multiple stoppages during the second men’s singles semi-final between Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas. Eventually, Medvedev prevailed over the Greek in straight sets, 7-5, 7-5.
During the match, the 30th seed from Ukraine went up an early break and led 3-1 before the seventh seed broke back to level the set at 3-all. A second break of Kalinina’s serve in the business end of the set allowed the 2023 Australian Open finalist to clinch the lead in the match.
In the second set, Kalinina’s physical woes mounted and she wasn’t able to extend the match to her tearful dismay.
Italian Open: Elena Rybakina's season gets better
About her injury, Kalinina said, “I feel like I am at my physical limit today especially.
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”. Going into the final, Kalinina had played two back-to-back lengthy three-setters in her quarter-final and semi-final matches against Beatriz Haddad Maia and Veronika Kudermetova.
Meanwhile, about her win, Rybakina shared, “Of course, happy with the title. 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”. The Italian Open title’s the second title Elena Rybakina’s won this year.
Her first title came at Indian Wells (defeated Aryna Sabalenka) that was a WTA 1000 tournament as well. Following this result, Rybakina will reach a new career-high of no. 4, marking a first in the top-five of the WTA singles rankings. Photo Credit: Italian Open Twitter