WTA: Defending champ Elena Rybakina (illness) pulls out of Rome tournament

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Defending champion Elena Rybakina withdrew from the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome on Friday due to illness.

She was scheduled to play her opening-round match against Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania on Friday. Lucky loser Oceane Dodin took Rybakina’s spot, with Begu winning in a first-set walkover.

“I am disappointed to have to withdraw from Rome this year, but unfortunately I do not feel well enough to compete,” Rybakina, the No. 4 seed, said in a statement. “I have such good memories from last year and was looking forward to defending my title.”

Rybakina, from Kazakhstan, now has withdrawn from two events she won last year. In March, she pulled out of the tournament in Indian Wells, Calif., again citing illness.

In 2023, Rybakina defeated Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine in the final in Rome.

Rybakina has eight career WTA titles, including at Wimbledon in 2022.

–Field Level Media

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