Barty retires injured in Rome, two weeks from Roland Garros

Barty, the 2019 French Open winner, was leading 6-4, 2-1 against her American opponent when she called a physio and had her right arm strapped with a compression sleeve.

World number one Ash Barty was forced to retire from her Italian Open quarterfinal.   -  Getty Images

World number one Ash Barty was forced to retire from her Italian Open quarterfinal against Coco Gauff with an arm injury, raising doubts about her participation at the French Open.

Barty, the 2019 French Open winner, was leading 6-4, 2-1 against her American opponent when she called a physio and had her right arm strapped with a compression sleeve.

The Australian eventually decided against continuing the match in wet conditions in Rome, allowing Gauff to book a place in the final four.

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Barty missed the 2020 claycourt swing due to the COVID-19 pandemic but has returned even stronger this season, winning the title in Stuttgart before finishing runner-up to Aryna Sabalenka in Madrid last week.

The 24-year-old now faces a battle to prove her fitness before the French Open, which begins on May 30 in Paris.

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Meanwhile, Gauff has progressed to her first WTA semifinal on red clay at the age of 17. She will face the winner of the quarterfinal between reigning French Open champion Iga Swiatek and Elina Svitolina.

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