Elena Rybakina gave Cori Gauff a walkover in Dubai due to a lower-back injury but noted she is expecting to be ready for the upcoming WTA 1000 events in Indian Wells and Miami. On Wednesday, Rybakina was scheduled to meet Gauff in the Dubai round-of-16.
Rybakina, who was also scheduled to play in the Dubai doubles event with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, also pulled out of the doubles event. “Unfortunately today I had to withdraw from the Dubai singles and doubles draws due to a lower-back injury.
I’m sure I will be able to recover soon and be ready for the US swing. Can’t wait to be back here in Dubai next year! Thank you all for the support,” Rybakina wrote on her Instagram Story.
Rybakina won two matches in Dubai
In the Dubai first round, fans had a chance to see two Grand Slam champions going up against each other – 2022 Wimbledon champion Rybakina and 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu.
In a battle between two Grand Slam champions, Rybakina had more success as she beat Andreescu 6-3 6-4. “The second set, a few mistakes, a few good returns from Bianca, and I turned around and I was down. But then I’m happy that I managed to win in two [sets].
I think tactically I was playing great, just at a few moments, maybe I rushed a bit on the serve. [I lost] my serve two times, but then I’m happy that the return games I played really well,” Rybakina said after beating Andreescu.
After beating Andreescu, Rybakina clinched another straight-set win as she defeated Marie Bouzkova 7-5 6-2. Unfortunately, Rybakina was then forced to give Gauff a walkover. Now, Rybakina will turn her focus on solving her lower-back issue and getting ready for the Sunshine Double.
In Indian Wells, Rybakina is set to make her third appearance. Last year, Rybakina made her first Indian Wells quarterfinal before losing to Maria Sakkari.
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