- Injuries to some of the biggest names in world tennis have depleted the field at the Italian Open in Rome.
- Roger Federer added his name to the treatment table after pulling out of Friday’s quarterfinal against Stefanos Tsitsipas, joining other retirees Caroline Wozniacki, Serena Williams, and Naomi Osaka.
- It is unclear who will be fully fit for the French Open, the year’s signature event on clay and one of four Grand Slam events in world tennis.
- Williams did say she was looking forward to Roland Garros but conceded she was focusing on rehab. She has also been beaten by injury in three successive tournaments now.
- They are all in a race against the clock to be ready for the start of the competition on May 26, which is just nine days away.
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Some of the best players in tennis may not be fully fit for one of the marquee events in the sport’s calendar, the upcoming French Open at Roland Garros.
Roger Federer’s withdrawal from Friday’s Italian Open quarterfinal against Stefanos Tsitsipas follows separate injuries to Caroline Wozniacki, Serena Williams, and Naomi Osaka, who have all retired from the Roma tournament.
Wozniacki was the first big name to fall when a leg injury forced her to retire in the middle of her first round match against Danielle Rose Collins on Tuesday, losing the first set 7-6. It was the second successive tournament where she had been beaten by injury, after a back problem cost her a match in the first round of the Madrid Open, on May 5.
Williams, 37, also withdrew from the Foro Italico courts on Tuesday, meaning she could not face her Wednesday opponent, her sister Venus Williams.
Though the 23-time Grand Slam champion said in The Guardian she would "look forward" to the French Open, Williams conceded she’d be "concentrating on rehab" in the days ahead. She has also been plagued by injury for three consecutive tournaments now, having withdrawn from the Indian Wells Masters, the Miami Open, and now the Italian Open.
Osaka, meanwhile, did not compete in her quarterfinal against Kiki Bertens on Friday because the thumb on her right hand was causing her discomfort. She told the media that the clay court season and preparations for the French Open had been "rocky," Yahoo Sports said.
Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images for USTA
Federer, 37, also withdrew on Friday, one day after winning back-to-back matches on Thursday after Wednesday’s round was rained off.
"I am disappointed that I will not be able to compete today," Federer said, according to the BBC. "I am not 100% physically, and after consultation with my team, it was determined that I not play."
Injuries have depleted the field in the Italian Open, with Stefanos Tsitsipas and Bertens benefitting from Federer and Osaka’s problems as they received byes into the men’s and women’s semifinal on Saturday.
But very little is known about the severity of these issues, and whether all or any of the athletes will be able to participate efficiently in the French Open at Roland Garros, the year’s signature event on clay and one of the four Grand Slam events in world tennis.
It remains to be seen who will play out of those who retired in Rome, but they all have a race against the clock to be ready for the start of the French Open on May 29 — which is just nine days away.
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