ROME, May 21, 2023 (BSS/AFP) – Italian open finalist Anhelina Kalinina blamed pure fatigue and a left thigh injury for Saturday night’s retirement from the biggest match of her career.
The 47th-ranked Ukrainian was unable to go on and threw in the towel to hand Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina a 6-4, 1-0 finals win at the Foro Italico on a day plagued by rain delays.
“I feel I’m at my physical limit,” she said. “I felt the leg after the quarter-finals.
“I pushed myself yesterday,” she said of her semi-final win over Veronika Kudermetova. “Today I started, but after two, three games I couldn’t.
“I was trying, but it was absolutely impossible.”
The 26–year-old, who is good friends with Rybakina, said her only goal for the moment is to recover and get back to working on her game.
“I don’t have expectations. I have my goals concerning my tennis, not the ambitions about counting (ranking) points.
“I’m trying to focus on my tennis, on my game, what I have to improve. I have a lot of things to improve, I have a lot of work to do.”
Kalinina said she had no second thoughts about quitting only the second final of her career.
“(Quitting) was absolutely correct, even though emotions (told me) I want to play today,” she said. “After I went off court, I almost fell in the locker room because the leg started cramping. (It was) the absolutely correct decision.”