Elena Rybakina Shockingly Withdraws From 2023 Roland Garros

Elena Rybakina Shockingly Withdraws From 2023 Roland Garros

by Evita Mueller

Last updated

Elena Rybakina was forced to withdraw from the 2023 Roland Garros ahead of third-round match.

The 23-year-old Kazakh has been one of the biggest favourites in her part of the draw as well as the overall favourite in the WTA draw for the 2023 Roland Garros. After winning in Rome, her name was mentioned even more but a shocking development forced Rybakina to withdraw from the tournament.

In the first round, she outplayed Czech teenager Brenda Fruhvirtova and in the second round, she defeated yet another Czech teenager Linda Noskova. In her third-round match, Rybakina was set to play against Sara Sorribes Tormo in the opening match on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

However, shortly before the match, Rybakina announced that she won't be able to compete after she was forced to end her morning warm-up early. She immediately held a press conference in which she clarified her withdrawal.

"Well, I was not feeling good already yesterday and the day before, so I didn't sleep two nights and had a fever. And today, I really tried on the warm-up, but I really felt that the decision is to withdraw because it's really tough to play with these conditions."

Talking about her emotions after the withdrawal, Rybakina admitted that she was upset as she wanted to give her 100%, but she also showed her mind of a champion, not looking at the current disappointment but already shifting her focus to the grass-court season.

"Of course, I feel really upset not to be able to play, but I guess that's life, and there is a lot of ups and downs. And today I wanted to give 100%, and obviously, I'm far from 100%. Actually, I was coming positive here, but you never know how you're going to feel, so was just unlucky for me and I'll just try to recover and do my best to be prepared for the grass season."

Asked to clarify and elaborate on the illness that forced her out of the tournament, Rybakina admitted that it may be related to her allergy, which influenced her already in Rome, as the immune system was probably not ready to fight the viruses that entered her body.

"I saw the doctor and they said that actually there is a lot of virus in Paris. And with my allergy, I guess the immune system just went down and I picked up something. And as I said, I was not sleeping well two days, I had fever, headache, so it's difficult to perform, and obviously, to run and even breathe."

"It was after my second match. Everything was going well and out of a sudden I started to feel bad and it was not better at all. Of course, I got some medication, and as soon as I started to feel bad, I took everything that I could, but health is health, and the body needs some time. I just need few days to rest and see how it's going to be."

The reigning Wimbledon champion was asked also about the grass-court season as that's where her biggest success came last year.

"For now, I focus to get better. But, the plan was to play Berlin, Eastbourne, and Wimbledon, and there are not many tournaments on grass, but the most important is to get healthy again."

For professional athletes, it may be sometimes tough to make a decision as their head, heart, and body may feel differently, so also Rybakina was asked if that was the case for her.

"Well, I think it's just overall feeling that I cannot stay on the court more than 10 minutes. I do one rally, and it's just -- and it was just the warmup from the middle of the court. So if I cannot breathe, there is no chance I can even run and try to compete. So I think that's it."

Nonetheless, Rybakina is expected to move to her new career-high in the WTA Ranking after the tournament. Unless Ons Jabeur wins the 2023 Roland Garros, the Kazakh will move to the 3rd place, joining her fellow members of WTA's forming 'Big Three', Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka.


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