Defending Champion Elena Rybakina Withdraws From Indian Wells Open – News18

Published By: Siddarth Sriram
Last Updated: March 09, 2024, 10:17 IST
United States of America (USA)
Elena Rybakina (AP Photo)
Defending champion Elena Rybakina has withdrawn from Indian Wells ahead of her first match due to illness, tournament organizers said on Friday.
“It is with great sadness I must announce, I will not be able to participate at this years Indian Wells tournament due to gastrointestinal issues,” she said.
“Those close to me know how much this tournament means to me and how much I wanted to come back and defend my title.
“I would like to thank all the fans who came out here to support me and I am sorry they will not get a chance to see me play this year.
“Now I will rest and recover so I can come out and play and compete for my fans to the best of my abilities once again.”
The 24-year-old Russian-born Kazakhstani player won Wimbledon in 2022 and is currently ranked world number four.
She is replaced in the singles draw by lucky loser Kayla Day of the U.S.
The former Wimbledon champion from Kazakhstan, seeded fourth, had been due to open her campaign with a second-round meeting with Argentina’s Nadia Podoroska.
Rybakina, who beat Aryna Sabalenka in last year’s final, already owns two titles this season, winning at Brisbane and Abu Dhabi. But she pulled out of her scheduled quarter-final in Dubai last month also complaining of gastrointestinal trouble.
Rybakina joins a list of last minute withdrawals from the tournament including 2021 champion Paula Badosa, who pulled out on Thursday due to an ongoing back injury.
Three-time champion Rafa Nadal withdrew on the eve of his first round match on Wednesday saying he was not ready to compete at the highest levels.


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