Elena Rybakina Ends 2023 As Only Woman Player To Win Two WTA 1000 Titles

Elena Rybakina Ends 2023 As Only Woman Player To Win Two WTA 1000 Titles

by Nurein Ahmed

Last updated

Elena Rybakina will finish the 2023 WTA season as the only woman who won multiple WTA 1000 titles.

The big-serving Kazakh captured her first title at this level in Indian Wells during the spring, beating Aryna Sabalenka in a rematch of the Australian Open final just a few months earlier. She got her revenge over the Belarusian in a pulsating final, taking the first-set tiebreak 13-11 en route to a straight-sets win.

Since the WTA 1000 category was incepted in 2009 (initially called Premier tournaments), the best performance by a Kazakh player was a semifinal finish. But victory in the California desert in March earned the 24-year-old a place in the history books, becoming the first Kazakhstani player to win a WTA 1000 title.

Rybakina was victorious at the Italian Open too where she preserved her undefeated streak against Iga Swiatek this season in the quarterfinals. She received a stroke of good fortune, earning three retirement wins on her way to the title - against Anna Kalinskaya, Iga Swiatek, and Anhelina Kalinina in the final.

Despite being the only player to hold at least two WTA 1000s, Rybakina will reflect on missed opportunities to add to her title count. After her success in Indian Wells, she came close to sweeping the Sunshine Double but stumbled at the final hurdle as Petra Kvitova denied her glory in Miami.

Rybakina made the semifinals in Montreal and Beijing but was thwarted by Liudmila Samsonova on both occasions. But this doesn't take the gloss off what has been a great season, not just at the WTA 1000 level, but also at Grand Slam level where she reached her second career final at this year's Australian Open.

Other honorable mentions who finished on the winners' podium at WTA 1000 level include Barbora Krejcikova (Dubai), Petra Kvitova (Miami), Aryna Sabalenka (Madrid), Jessica Pegula (Montreal), Coco Gauff (Cincinnati), Maria Sakkari (Guadalajara), Iga Swiatek (Beijing).


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