Elena Rybakina was crowned WTA Italian Open champion after Anhelina Kalininia retired through injury in the second set of the final in Rome.
Kalininia got off to a great start when she broke Rybakina after multiple deuce rallies.
But the Kazakh started to show her quality, hitting back with a break of her own in game six before breaking again in game ten to secure the opener.
Rybakina started the second set with a convincing serve as Kalininia sat down to speak to her doctor and after a very quick consultation, the players shook hands to give the 2022 Wimbledon champion her biggest title on clay, which also sees her move up to fourth on Monday’s WTA rankings.
It was the second time in the tournament that Rybakina won after her opponent was eliminated after Iga Swiatek was eliminated in the quarterfinals.
After the win, Rybakina said on the sidelines: “I wish Kalininia a speedy recovery because she’s a really good friend of mine and I’m really happy about all her results.” She did a good job and hopefully can qualify for the French Open recover.
“A big thank you to the audience and everyone who stayed and watched to the end. It wasn’t easy for us, but it wasn’t easy for you either because it rained so much today. Many thanks for the support.”
Kalininia said: “I’m really sorry I couldn’t play. I tried to do my best, but of course it’s sport and I want to congratulate Elena not only on this title but also on everything you’ve achieved this year, starting with Wimbledon. It’s really inspiring and I hope that one day I can reach your level. Good luck for the season, stay healthy and achieve your goals.”
Holger Rune will fight for a chance to win his second ATP Masters 1000 title when he meets Daniil Medvedev for the Italian Open title after beating Casper Ruud from behind.
The Dane came from behind on his debut in Rome and came back after a break to prevail 6-7(2), 6-4, 6-2 against No. 4 seed Ruud after having beaten earlier eliminated world number one Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals.
Medvedev defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-5, 7-5 to claim his first ATP Masters 1000 championship game on clay, although the game was twice affected by rain. The game started around 4:30 p.m. local time and ended more than five hours later.
The pair will meet in the final on Sunday afternoon.