World number one Barty retires from Italian Open

Tennis World number one Ash Barty was forced to retire from her Italian Open quarter-final against Coco Gauff with an arm injury, raising doubts on her participation at the French Open.

Barty, the 2019 French Open winner, was leading 6-4 2-1 against her American opponent when she called a physio and had her right-arm strapped with a compression sleeve.

The Australian eventually decided against continuing the match in wet conditions in Rome, allowing Gauff to book a place in the final four.

Barty missed the 2020 claycourt swing due to the COVID-19 pandemic but has returned even stronger this season, winning the title in Stuttgart before finishing runner-up to Aryna Sabalenka in Madrid last week.

The 24-year-old now faces a battle to prove her fitness before the French Open, which begins on May 30 in Paris.

Meanwhile, Gauff has progressed to her first WTA semi-final on red clay at the age of 17. She will face the winner of the quarter-final between reigning French Open champion Iga Swiatek and Elina Svitolina.