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Watch: Wimbledon star in tears after retiring due to injury as Rybakina advances | Tennis News

Elena Rybakina has never beaten Beatriz Haddad Maia in her previous two WTA meetings. The defending Wimbledon champion also struggles against left-handers. Hence, the Brazilian’s groundbreaking run at the SW19 was touted to continue with an upset on Centre Court on Monday evening. But even before the match could see a momentum being build on either side, an unfortunate scene unfolded on the iconic venue where Haddad Maia was left in tears before retiring from the round of 16 clash just five games into the match, subsequently handing Rybakina the quarterfinal berth. (Wimbledon 2023 Day 8 Live Updates)

Beatriz Haddad Maia was forced to retire du to injury in Wimbledon match against Elina Rybakina
Beatriz Haddad Maia was forced to retire du to injury in Wimbledon match against Elina Rybakina

With her win against Sorona Cirstea last week, Haddad Maia became only the second Brazilian to reach the last 16 of the women’s singles at Wimbledon and the first in 47 years, after Maria Bueno in 1976. But while the 27-year-old was backed to challenge the reigning champion in the Centre Court tie, the Brazilian suffered a back injury.

Moment after being broken in her second service game in the opening set, Haddad Maia stood there for a while holding her back and grimacing in pain. She had pulled her back. The physio was immediately called to take a look at the issue before she walked off the court for a medical evaluation. Moments later, the chair umpire revealed that Haddad Maia opted for a medical time-out.

The two were in the match for just 15 minutes with Rybakina taking a 3-1 lead before the injury happened. Haddad Maia walked out into the court after a short while, barely even being able to walk. And while it felt that she would withdraw from the encounter, she bravely lifted her racket and walked towards her position to continue the match. The crowd applauded the effort immediately as Rybakina resumed the proceedings.

The Kazakh immediately made it 4-1 with the Brazilian unable to make a return or even effort to reach out for the ball. And when it was her turn to serve, she was reduced to tears. She walked up to her box, where she was advised to not play before she made her way towards the umpire to retire. Haddad Maia was left inconsolable before Rybakina, showing true sportsmanship, hugged her.

“I hope it’s nothing really serious,” Rybakina said in her on-court interview after advancing to the quarter-final after spending 27 minutes on the court. “How I understood, it was just one moment and really unlucky for Beatriz.”

Rybakina back in quarters

After reaching the quarterfinals for the second straight time, Rybakina claimed a 14th win in her first 15 women’s singles matches at Wimbledon. Only two others in the Open Era won has won as many in that span – Billie Jean King and Maria Sharapova. She will next face one between last year’s runner up Ons Jabeur or two-time champion Petra Kvitova.

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