- Kazakh tennis star Elena Rybakina won the 2023 Italian Open
- Ukrainian Anhelina Kalininia withdrew in the second set of the finals
- Daniil Medvedev won the men’s singles
Kazakh tennis star Elena Rybakina won the 2023 Italian Open bringing to an end one of the most disappointing Masters events on WTA and ATP Tour.
Heavy rains currently pounding Italy saw a lot of matches delayed while the high ticket prices discouraged many people from attending the event.
Most matches were played with a half-empty court following heavy rains and expensive tickets.
The Italian Women’s final at Foro Italico between Rybakina and Ukrainian Anhelina Kalininia was delayed for hours due to heavy rainfall.
They would later start playing late after the rains subsided with only a few heavily dressed spectators to stay warm. The tournament’s men’s final between Daniil Medvedev and Holger Rune was delayed for five hours.
Medvedev had a similar delay on Saturday when playing with Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semifinal which he won. He also defeated Rune to win the Italian Open.
Tournament officials said plans to roof the arena are in place. In a press conference on Sunday, Vito Cozzoli, president of Sport e Salute, revealed that the Italian Open’s centre court will have a roof in place starting in 2026.
“The time has come for the announcement that we have been waiting for years: the coverage of the central will arrive,” he stated.
Cozzoli predicted that the project would take two years, allowing for the use of the main show court during the inclement conditions that led to a lot of matches being postponed.
The feasibility study has been given the go-ahead and with it is a cutting-edge plan that will make the arena accessible all year round.
Kalinina withdrew from the Italian Open final on Saturday due to an injury on her left thigh thereby giving Rybakina victory. The Kazakh was kind enough to shower Kalininia with kind words and wished her a quick recovery.
“I want to wish Kalininia a speedy recovery because she is a really good friend of mine and I am really happy for all of her results,” she said post-match.
“She did a good job and hopefully can recover for the French Open. A big thanks to the crowd and everyone who stayed and watched till the end. It was not easy for us but not easy for you with all the rain today so thank you so much for the support,” said Rybakina.
Her focus is now on the French Open which starts on May 22. She feels that she needs to be more ready for it although she is pretty good playing on any surface.
She lost her run for a second grand slam at the Australian Open to Aryna Sabalenka but recovered by winning Indian Wells.
Sabalenka maintained her studious performance in Miami where she came second at the Miami Open.
With Roland Garros coming, the Kazakh knows where and what to improve in as she takes another shot at winning a second grand slam.
She won her first slam at Wimbledon 2022.