Defending Champion Elena Rybakina Withdraws From Indian Wells

Defending Champion Elena Rybakina Withdraws From Indian Wells

by Erik Virostko

Elena Rybakina was forced to withdraw from the 2024 Indian Wells Open, and she won't be able to defend her title.

The WTA 1000 competition in Indian Wells was just dealt a major blow as the defending champion won't be participating at the tournament. Rybakina withdrew shortly before her second-round match.

In 2024, the 2022 Wimbledon champion has played sensationally when she's been healthy, technically losing only one match when she was at the peak of her capabilities.

However, the problem has been the fact that she has struggled to stay healthy most of the time, which cost her, for example, playing in the Dubai Championships quarter-final.

Although that was more than two weeks ago, Rybakina is probably struggling with a more significant problem, as she withdrew from the 2024 Indian Wells Open, hours prior to her second-round match against Nadia Podoroska.

As one of the seeded players, the defending champion had a first-round bye, but even the extra time to recover didn't help Rybakina, as she won't be able to compete in Indian Wells, and won't defend her title.

It's a major blow to her chances in a fight for the world no. 1 spot, as she kicked off the new season as one of the leading players in the 2024 WTA Race, but missing a WTA 1000 tournament will be reflected on her chances to reach the world no. 1 rank.

The 24-year-old's withdrawal doesn't need to mean much in the rankings at the moment. She will lose a crucial 1000 points, but with Jessica Pegula more than 800 points behind in the live rankings, Rybakina likely doesn't have to be worried.

Although the Kazakhstani player won't improve to the world no. 3 spot, Pegula is the only player who could take her world no. 4 spot, and she would need a title to do it.


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