WORLD NO 1 JANNIK SINNER WATCHES ON AS GIRLFRIEND ANNA KALINSKAYA IS FORCED TO RETIRE IN TEARS AGAINST FORMER WIMBLEDON CHAMPION ELENA RYBAKINA

  • Kalinskaya was 6-3, 3-0 behind when she was forced to leave Centre Court 
  • Rybakina will play Elina Svitolina in the quarter-finals after receiving the bye 
  • Sinner has attended a number of Kalinskaya's matches since going public in May 

Anna Kalinskaya was forced to retire 3-0 down in the second set against Elena Rybakina after running into trouble with suspected shoulder and wrist issues midway through their fourth-round tie on Monday afternoon. 

The No 17 had previously brought play to a halt after calling for a medical timeout during the opening set, suspending proceedings while she was treated by her physio at her chair. 

Kalinskaya was worked on for several minutes with exercises that targeted her right arm, her wrist, and her shoulders, before restarting play from 3-4 behind. 

The Russian player continued to be troubled by her fitness, however, and within minutes of restarting her campaign against Rybakina, spoke to the chair umpire to wrap up the match. 

Sitting in her chair and collecting her thoughts before walking off court, Kalinskaya appeared visibly emotional after making the difficult decision to hand the match to her opponent, drying her eyes on her towel. 

Kalinskaya's boyfriend Jannik Sinner watched the unfolding events from her player box, clearly moved by the unfortunate turn of events as the 25-year-old left Centre Court. 

Sinner had previously made an appearance at a number of Kalinskaya's Wimbledon ties thus far, with his girlfriend returning the favour during his own travails, including during his tournament opener against Yannick Hanfmann. 

The Italian Australian Open champion and Kalinskaya - who previously briefly dated Nick Kyrgios - went public with their relationship in May, but have remained tight-lipped over the details in a bid to preserve 'confidentiality'. 

Both players did however make reference to their respective other-halves three weekends ago, when they both featured in grass court finals in Berlin and Halle.  

Monday's retirement marks the second time that the 2022 Wimbledon has won by default against Kalinskaya, who leads 2-1 in their head-to-head match-ups that have been played to completion. 

Kalinskaya looked to make a fast start against her Kazakh opponent, breaking her usually fearsome serve in the opening game, before pulling off a confident hold to establish a three-game lead in the showcourt's first match. 

Neither Rybakina nor Kalinskaya was keen to give away any showing of emotion for their rival to capitalise upon, which much of the tie played in an impassive silence as the duo jostled for control of momentum. 

Rybakina's breakthrough came in the sixth game, with a supremely confident break to love, as Kalinskaya's injury likely began to tell. 

Rybakina's victory sets up a quarter-final meeting with Elina Svitolina, who the world No 4 last overturned 6-4 6-3 in the fourth round of the French Open. 

It also upholds her sterling record in SW19, which has seen the 25-year-old register a win percentage of 90 per cent, third in the Open era only to Ann Jones and Steffi Graf. 

'I don’t feel pressure,' Rybakina said in her post-match on-court interview. 'I think every opponent is difficult and I know that every performance I need to bring my best. 

'I’m just really enjoying my time on court and I’m really happy I’m going into the quarter-finals again.'

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2024-07-08T15:19:25Z dg43tfdfdgfd