‘Most Important Thing Is to Play It Safe’: Swiatek on Her Retirement from Rome

Swiatek was tied 2-2 with Elena Rybakina in the final set on Wednesday before she decided to bow out.

Two-time defending champion Iga Swiatek, in her deciding set of her Italian Open quarterfinal against Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina, decided to retire due to

a right thigh injury. While she won the first set 6-2, Rybakina took the second set 7-6 (3).

With her retirement, Swiatek ended her winning streak in Rome, and everyone got worried about her status for the French Open, where the main draw starts May 28. For the French Open, the Polish player is the defending champion.

Iga Swiatek’s statement

Clearly ahead of it, Iga Swiatek said she was taking no chances with her fitness. "For me, the most important thing is to kind of play it safe and not exploit my body so much in such difficult conditions, after having to play a few matches in the night session and after midnight," she said in a statement on Thursday.

"To be ready for Roland Garros, I need to recover right now. I’m going to take a couple of days off. With my quarter-final loss, I also have time to then practise right before the tournament," she added.

Talking about her decision, she further mentioned, "I’m happy right now to have a few days off because since Stuttgart I wasn’t really able to recover with that tight schedule that we have on the WTA."

For the unversed souls, Swiatek bagged the Stuttgart Open trophy in April when she beat world number two Aryna Sabalenka. The French Open runs from May 28 to June 11, 2023.

As for the Italian Open quarterfinal, Swiatek grasped her right knee after shifting directions a few times, and she was almost close to tears when she took a medical timeout after the set. She then left the court, and when she returned, her upper right thigh was bandaged. Eventually, after four more games, she retired.