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Elena Rybakina withdraws from French Open before third-round match

Elena Rybakina French Open

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 03: Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan talks to the media after her injury withdrawal ahead of the third round on Day Seven of Roland Garros on June 03, 2023 in Paris, France (Photo by Robert Prange/Getty Images)

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Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina withdrew before her French Open third-round match due to illness.

Rybakina said she had two sleepless nights with a fever, headache and what a doctor told her was a virus she picked up in Paris. She started feeling unwell after her second-round match on Thursday.

She briefly tried to warm-up Saturday morning for her third-round match against 132nd-ranked Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo.

“I cannot stay on the court more than 10 minutes,” she said. “I do one rally, and it was just the warm-up from the middle of the court. So if I cannot breathe, there is no chance I can even run and try to compete.”

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Rybakina, the No. 4 seed, was one of the pre-tournament favorites along with the top two seeds, Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka.

Last July, the Russia-born Kazakh became the second-lowest-ranked woman to win Wimbledon (at No. 23 in the world). At January’s Australian Open, she beat Swiatek and then in the final took the first set off Sabalenka before losing in three.

In March, she won tennis’ unofficial fifth major in Indian Wells, California, with straight set wins over Swiatek and Sabalenka in the semifinals and final. She then won the Italian Open last month, the last top-level clay tournament before the French Open.

Sorribes Tormo will play 14th seed Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil or 23rd seed Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia in the fourth round.

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