Tearful End: Rybakina Wins 2023 Italian Open After Kalinina Retires

Tearful End: Rybakina Wins 2023 Italian Open After Kalinina Retires

by Zachary Wimer

Elena Rybakina won the 2023 Italian Open in Rome but it didn't come in a way that she wanted it to come after Anhelina Kalinina retired.

The two players met only for the second time on the WTA Tour, with their first meeting taking place on the clay courts of Charleston last year. Ahead of the 2023 Italian Open final, they both spoke nicely about each other as Rybakina admitted that they have a really good relationship.

"She's really good person. Actually she used to work with my coach. Yeah, we just have good relationship. I always, like, cheering for her also. Same, whenever I win, she's always supporting. We have good relationship."

Therefore it was clear that there will be no unwanted drama in the final as in the semifinal matches, but the fans at Foro Italico didn't get to see even the full two sets as Kalinina was forced to retire.

A lot of fans waited for a very long time in Rome, as the previous men's semifinal match between Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas was suspended multiple times because of the rain, but once they were finished, nothing stopped the two WTA finalists from competing for the title.

Kalinina got off to a better start, breaking her opponent's serve already in the first game of the match and keeping the advantage until the sixth game. That was the moment when Rybakina recovered one of the breaks and she added one more in the tenth game to win the first set 6-4.

Coming into the second set with an advantage of winning the opener, Rybakina started with a solid hold of serve, but little did she know that it won't matter. In the second. game of the match, her opponent was forced to retire, ending the best week of her career in tears.

On the other hand, Rybakina won her second WTA 1000 title of the year, lifting the 2023 Italian Open trophy. On Monday, she will move to the 4th place in the WTA Rankings, her new career high.


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