Tennis News: Elena Rybakina's fall and Andy Roddick's cancer scare

  • Rybakina's Italian Open withdrawal will have consequences
  • Roddick speaks candidly on his podcast about health issues
Robert Prange/GettyImages

Andy Roddick has almost always been open and candid with his thoughts. That could range anywhere from tennis to politics and everything in between. On a recent episode of his fantastic podcast, Served with Andy Roddick, he opened up about some previous health issues he had. One of these was a cancer scare.

On the episode, Roddick looked a bit different than he normally does and he felt he needed to explain why. The morning the podcast was recorded, he had had a doctor's visit to presumably check for any skin cancer concerns. The former ATP No. 1 then revealed that about "five or six years ago" he had a tumor removed from his lip.

He attributed the issue to playing in the sun so much during his tennis career. This, of course, began when he was quite young and throughout his professional life. Roddick feels that for the rest of his life he could be battling skin cancer issues and he strongly urged people to wear sunscreen or to put sunscreen on their children, especially if those children are young tennis players outside in the sun a lot.

Andy Roddick has some good advice and Elena Rybakina plummets in terms of WTA points

Roddick said, "I’ve dealt with various types of skin cancer since I stopped playing. I had a squamous cell tumor taken out of my lip, probably like five or six years ago, I haven’t ever talked about it...Won’t go into the ‘woe was me’ part of it, because nothing is wrong, everything is good but, use sunscreen. Put sunscreen on your kids, especially if they are tennis players. The problem won’t present itself when the kid is eight, but it might present itself when that kid is grown and is 38."

In other tennis news, Elena Rybakina, the current WTA No. 4, had to withdraw from the Italian Open due to either illness or allergies. She has previously suffered from allergy issues at the Italian Open and at the French Open. Obviously, if a tennis player cannot breathe as fully as normal then that is going to affect their play. Tennis is an endurance sport.

The rankings issue for Rybakina is that she won the Italian Open in 2023 which meant she had 1,000 points to defend. While she should not fall when the rankings come out past No. 4 she will be closer in points to No. 5 Jessica Pegula than she will be to No. 1 Iga Swiatek. Any hopes Rybakina had to reach Swiatek over the summer are basically gone now.

Another player who could see a rise in the rankings, however, is Coco Gauff. If she outpaces Aryna Sabalenka's showing at the Italian Open, Gauff will move up to No. 2 and Sabalenka will fall to No. 3. All the top three are well clear of Rybakina, though, since Rybakina was forced to withdraw from the Rome event.

More tennis news and analysis