Fourth seed Elena Rybakina pulled out of the French Open ahead of her third-round match with Sara Sorribes Tormo on Saturday due to a viral illness as the Roland Garros tournament lost one of its main contenders for the women’s title.
The Wimbledon champion said she had been unwell for the last two days.
“I was not feeling good yesterday and the day before so I didn’t sleep two nights and had some fever,” Rybakina told a news conference.
“Today I really tried during the warm-up but I feel that the right decision is to withdraw because it’s really tough to play in this condition.
“I saw the doctor, and they said that actually it’s all a virus here in Paris. I guess with my allergy, my immune system just went down and I picked up something.”
Kazakhstan’s Rybakina was among the title favourites alongside holder Iga Swiatek and Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka after winning the Rome title in the build-up to the claycourt Grand Slam.
“I’m really upset not be able to play, but I guess that’s life,” Rybakina added. “There are a lot of ups and downs. Today I just wanted to give 100%, and obviously, I’m far from being 100 per cent.
“I was actually coming positive here, but you never know how you’re going to feel. It was unlucky for me. I’ll try to recover and do my best to be prepared for the grass season already.”
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