Ash Barty retired in rainy conditions as a chronic right arm injury flared up on Friday at the Rome Masters, sending Coco Gauff into her first major semi-final 

The 4-6, 1-2 win for American 17-year-old came as top seed Barty pulled out, a development which will put Gauff into the Top 30 for the first time.

Australian top seed Barty wouldn’t get specific about her problem besides saying she had dealt with it for almost a decade.

Players were forced on and off court due to the poor weather, with the world No. 1 saying she is certain of being fit when the French Open starts on May 30.

“It  became worse while we were playing, I had to make a challenging decision . to stop,” Barty said.

“The thing that I hate most is not being able to finish a tennis match – but the pain was becoming too severe.

“It’s important to listen to my body and try and do the right thing, knowing that we have a Grand Slam in two weeks’ time.”

Barty said she will put down the racquet for a few days and then gradually increase her workload in the run-up to the Paris Grand Slam.

“I’m confident in my team that we know how to manage this injury. We just need to do the right things now and make the right decisions now to know that in a couple weeks it will be fine.”

Gauff had lost her only previous meeting with a reigning No.1, losing to Naomi Osaka at the 2019 US Open.

Main photo:- Coco Gauff reaches her first major semi-final as Ash Barty retires in Rome ©


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