Aryna Sabalenka - Australian Open 2024

Aryna Sabalenka ‘was considering retiring’ before reaching Italian Open final

Aryna Sabalenka has provided an update on her recent back injury, after reaching the Italian Open final for the first time in her career.

Sabalenka beat the in-form Danielle Collins, 7-5 6-2, to reach back-to-back finals after finishing as runner-up at the Madrid Open.

Despite her run to the final, the Belarusian revealed that she has been struggling with a back injury in Rome, “I was considering retiring from the tournament. Lucky me, I had an extra day. I was doing a lot of recovery. I’m still doing lots of exercise, treatments, and taking care of my lower back. It’s getting better. I guess we’re on the right way.”

The two-time Australian Open champion obtained this injury against Elina Svitolina in the fourth round on Monday, where Sabalenka had to save three match points to beat her Ukrainian opponent.

However, Sabalenka appears to be feeling more comfortable in the latter stages in Rome and ahead of Roland Garros.

“I’m doing everything to recover as fast as I can and to be ready for Paris,” said Sabalenka. “Right now I’m feeling great. I’m not in pain during matches.

“Of course, if something is going to happen in the match I’m going to pull out because Paris is around the corner. Hopefully, it’s not going to happen. I feel like it’s not going to.”

Sabalenka will now play WTA No.1 Iga Swiatek, who is currently on an 11-match winning streak, in a rematch of the Madrid Open final on Saturday.

Swiatek will be looking to become the first women’s singles player to claim the Madrid-Rome double since Serena Williams in 2013.

Inside the baseline…

It has been a really compelling clay court season so far for the WTA Tour, with the top players dominating events in both Madrid and Rome. The final between Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka in Madrid was outstanding, so fans will be wanting plenty more of the same and the Belarusian will be hoping to get both revenge and bragging rights ahead of Roland Garros.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.