Elena Rybakina advanced to the semifinals of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia after two-time defending champion Iga Swiatek retired in the third set with a right leg injury at 2-6, 7-6(3), 2-2, QazMonitor reports citing Wtatennis.
This is the first WTA 1000 semifinal on clay for the reigning Wimbledon champion. The retirement ends Swiatek's 14-match win streak at the Foro Italico, margining of one point lead (3-2) in their ongoing rivalry in Elena’s favor.
"It was a really tough match. Iga was really aggressive from the beginning, she was more explosive. I was coming to this match with no expectations and I'm so happy that I started to feel much better forehand in the second set," Rybakina expressed her feelings after the match.
The turning point of the match was the tiebreak where Rybakina summoned all her competitive resources and showed why she has lost just one of them this season. The Kazakh No.1 played it perfectly, making her personal record 9-1, which led her take the match into a third set after two hours of play. Next up for Elena Rybakina is No.20 Jelena Ostapenko from Latvia. The semifinals will take place on Friday, May 19.