Australian world number 1, Ash Barty has sustained an arm injury that may see her miss the French Open. Barty decided to retire during her Italian Open quarter-final clash in Rome with Coco Gauff despite being ahead.
Bart was leading US teenage star Gauff 6-4, 2-1 before she disclosed that she could not continue. She revealed that the pain in her right arm from a recurring injury had become unbearable.
However, she maintained a confident demeanour, insisting that pulling out of the Italian Open was a mere precaution. The 2019 French Open champion said she believes she would be ready in two weeks when she sets out to defend her Roland Garros title.
“It’s disappointing [ to pull out ], but it was important that I listened to my body and gave it time to rest and recover and make sure that in a couple of weeks I’m 100% fit for Roland Garros,” Barty said to reporters at the end of the game.
The Australian explained that it was a tough call to make. “It [ the pain ] became worse while we were playing. The challenging thing is to decide to stop. It’s the thing that I hate the most, not being able to finish a tennis match.”
“It’s not in my make-up, not what I like to do. But the pain was becoming too severe, so it was important to try and do the right thing,” she said.
Barty has suffered from a pre-existing muscular injury since she was a teenager. This has not stopped the Grand Slam champion from having an impressive career. She added that the injury is a recurring one and Friday’s rain in Rome did not help her cause.
She wore a strap around her thigh and a bandage on her right arm. Barty is confident that her pain would subside in time for her to play at the Roland Garros in two weeks. “We are confident we know how to manage it,” she said. “So we move on and know that we made the right decision today, as hard as it is, but we also know that in a couple of weeks, we’ll be good.”