Rybakina wins Italian Open as Kalinina retires with injury
Rybakina was leading 6-4, 1-0, 15-0 when Kalinina called for a trainer and grasped her left leg. Then she decided that she couldn’t continue.
The final began at almost 11 p.m. local time on Saturday and ended just after midnight on Sunday.
It’s the biggest tournament Rybakina has won on clay, with her only other title on the surface in Bucharest in 2019.
It’s been quite a year for Rybakina, who reached the final of the Australian Open, also won an elite title in Indian Wells and was the runner-up in Miami. On Monday, she’ll move up to a career-high No. 4 in the rankings and will be considered a contender at the French Open, which starts next weekend.
The 47th-ranked Kalinina was playing in the biggest final of her career, and has been dedicating her performances to her war-torn country.
Kalinina’s family home was destroyed in a Russian attack last year. Also, her elderly grandparents have had to relocate from the southern city of Nova Kakhovka — which is held by Russian forces — to Kyiv. Kalinina’s parents work as tennis coaches in Kyiv and she said on Friday there was a “huge, huge bomb near them, near their academy” a few days ago.
Rybakina was born in Moscow and has represented Kazakhstan since 2018, when that country offered funding to support her tennis career.
Andrew Dampf is at https://twitter.com/AndrewDampf
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