Australian Ash Barty had to withdraw from her Italian Open quarter-final match with Coco Gauff after pain from an injury became ‘too severe’ to continue.
Barty was in Rome to prepare for the French Open and was leading the American teenager 6-4 2-1 but then had to drop out when the pain became too much for her to continue competing.
Barty said she believed she would be ‘good to go’ at Roland Garros in two weeks, a tournament which she won in 2019.
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“It’s disappointing no doubt but it was important that I listened to my body and gave it time to rest and recover, and make sure that in a couple of weeks’ time I’m 100% fit for Roland Garros,” Barty confirmed.
“It became worse while we were playing. The challenging thing is to make the decision to stop. It’s the thing that I hate the most, not being able to finish a tennis match. It’s not in my make-up, not what I like to do.
“But the pain was becoming too severe, so it was important to try and do the right thing.”
Barty has suffered with the arm problem since she was a teenager, but said that, “We’re confident we know how to manage it.
“So we move on and know that the right decision was made today, as hard as it is, but we also know that in a couple weeks we’ll be good.”
The withdrawal means that Gauff will now face Iga Swiatek on Saturday to decide a place in the final. The day’s other semi will see Petra Martic face Karolina Pliskova.
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