Ashleigh Barty on Rome withdrawal: ‘The pain was becoming too severe to continue’

Ashleigh Barty said she had to withdraw from her Rome quarterfinal against Coco Gauff on Friday because ‘the pain was too severe.’

Barty has been in top form this year, winning 15 of her 17 matches before the clash against the American teen.

However, despite leading the match 6-4, 2-1, she made what she described as the ‘challenging’ decision to retire due to an arm injury.

After the match, she explained that Roland Garros was in her thinking, and it’s an injury she has experience with so she felt she needed to trust it.

“It became worse while we were playing,” Barty explained. “So I think that’s the challenging thing is to make the decision to stop.

“It’s never nice. It’s the thing that I hate the most is not being able to finish a tennis match.

“But the pain was becoming too severe, so it was important that I listen to my body and of course try and do the right thing, knowing that we have a Grand Slam in two weeks time.

“I hate withdrawing. I hate pulling out of a match halfway through. It’s not in my makeup, not what I like to do, but it was really important today that I listen to what my body was telling me to make sure that in a couple weeks’ time we’re good to go.

“It’s something I have had to manage over my career. It’s an injury that began when I was quite young, when I was 15 or 16 years old. It just pops up every now and again.

“I think the conditions today certainly didn’t help that, but I mean, we’re confident we know how to manage it, so we just kind of move on and know that the right decision was made today, as hard as it is.”

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