Elena Rybakina was very sad that Anna Kalinskaya was forced to retire from their match as the Kazakh wished the Russian a very quick recovery. On Sunday evening in Rome, Rybakina opened a 4-3 lead when Kalinskaya walked to the net and said she was retiring due to injury.
Rybakina, 23, and 24-year-old Kalinskaya have known each other since their junior days.
In the Rome round-of-16, Rybakina will meet Marketa Vondrousova. "I didn't expect it of course. I just want to wish Anna to recover as soon as possible. I'm happy to play another match and hopefully I can show my best," Rybakina said after the match, via The Tennis Letter.
Elena Rybakina on Anna Kalinskaya's injury: "I didn't expect it of course. I just want to wish Anna to recover as soon as possible. I'm happy to play another match and hopefully I can show my best." pic.twitter.com/EMxH469VzS — The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) May 14, 2023
Kalinskaya, Rybakina appeared to be headed toward another great match
Before Kalinskaya sustained an injury, she was competing extremely well against seventh-seeded Rybakina.
In the first game of the match, Kalinskaya put heavy pressure on Rybakina but the Kazakh was able to save three break points. Kalinskaya maybe missed out on three break points in the first game but she did earn the first break of the match in the third game to open a 2-1 lead.
In the fourth game, Kalinskaya saved two break points to take a 3-1 lead. From that moment, Rybakina won the next three games and Kalinskaya retired through injury. Just a few weeks ago, Kalinskaya upset Rybakina in Madrid 7-5 4-6 6-2.
“I’m very happy. Elena is a very tough player. Since juniors, we always played difficult matches. I’m happy we can show a good level of tennis. I’m happy for both of us actually," Kalinskaya said after beating Rybakina in Madrid.
Going into their Rome match, the expectation was that Rybakina and Kalinskaya would deliver another great match. The match appeared to be heading toward being another great one but then Kalinskaya suffered an unfortunate injury. It remains to be seen for how long will Kalinskaya be sidelined after suffering an injury against Rybakina.
Elena Rybakina becomes third player to seal WTA Finals spot
Sorana Cirstea has honest message for Elena Rybakina after shock US Open win
US Open: Sorana Cirstea ousts Elena Rybakina; marks 2nd week debut in 15th try!
Elena Rybakina makes quite a surprising revelation at US Open
Elena Rybakina fires stern warning to US Open competition after statement win
Elena Rybakina receives pretty difficult projected path to US Open title