Gar­bine faces fit­ness fight

New Straits Times - - Sport -

ROME: Gar­bine Mugu­ruza was forced to re­tire from her Rome semi-fi­nal against Ukraine’s Elina Svi­tolina with a neck in­jury Satur­day, plac­ing a ques­tion mark over her fit­ness just a week out from the start of her French Open ti­tle de­fence.

The Span­ish third seed was 1-4 down af­ter just 22 min­utes in the first set when she quit, hand­ing the eighth-seeded Elina a place in Sun­day’s fi­nal against Ro­ma­nia’s Si­mona Halep.

Gar­bine had needed three sets to beat Venus Wil­liams in the quar­ter-fi­nals on Fri­day night.

It was the Spa­niard’s fourth re­tire­ment this year.

Gar­bine had not won a clay court match all sea­son un­til Rome fol­low­ing first round losses in Stuttgart and Madrid.

Elina, who has ti­tles in Tai­wan, Dubai and Is­tan­bul al­ready in 2017, said she hoped Gar­bine re­cov­ers in time for Roland Gar­ros which starts on May 28.

Sixth-seeded Halep, the cham­pion in Madrid last week­end, reached her first fi­nal in Rome af­ter sweep­ing aside Dutch­woman Kiki Bertens 7-5, 6-1 in her semi-fi­nal. AFP

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