Elena Rybakina is one of the players that everyone fears in 2023, but she is also just a human and she was stopped by an injury.
The Kazakh started her 2023 season perfectly, reaching the final in Melbourne. Then, Rybakina lost in her second match in Abu Dhabi, but she showed her best tennis again at the 2023 Dubai Championships, beating fellow Grand Slam champion Bianca Andreescu, and also Marie Bouzkova.
In the quarterfinals, the world no. 10 was set to compete against Coco Gauff, who also displayed a very good form in Dubai, and defeated Rybakina in their only previous meeting, last year in Toronto.
However, shortly before the match, Rybakina announced her withdrawal, as she's struggling with a lower back injury. The 23-year-old withdrew from both singles and doubles, where she was set to play alongside Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
For Gauff this means, that she will meet fellow compatriot Madison Keys in the 2023 Dubai Championships quarterfinals. Rybakina, who had a chance to improve her career-high in the WTA Rankings will now hope that Liudmila Samsonova or Petra Kvitova don't win the title, to keep her spot in the Top 10.