Elena Rybakina, the world No. 3 and reigning Wimbledon winner has withdrawn from a practice tournament in Eastbourne, England. The tennis ace on Monday informed of her withdrawal, raising questions about her physical condition prior to the start of the year's third Grand Slam, which starts next week. She was one of the favourites for the French Open, but withdrew due to a viral illness before facing Sara Sorribes Tormo in the third round.
Rybakina, who advanced to the Eastbourne 2021 semifinals, was slated to face Wang Xiyu on the opening day of main-draw play. Her withdrawal prior to the start of play caused the Eastbourne draw to be redone. Rybakina is replaced by the No. 10 seed Barbora Krejcikova, a finalist in Birmingham last week.
Elena Rybakina admits that after she abruptly withdrew from the French Open, her health actually deteriorated. In a post on Twitter, the Eastbourne organisers did not provide a justification for Rybakina's withdrawal. But this decision more likely comes as of the residual symptoms of the viral infection she contracted in Paris. She will be eager to get in shape so she can defend her championship at Wimbledon, which starts on July 3.