Entering the main draw of the WTA 1000 event in the Spanish capital, Rybakina knew that she wasn't very successful in Madrid before. The Kazakh won only three of five matches that she played at the Madrid Open before, so she knew she had to be mentally and tactically strong at the event.
After a bye in the first round, Rybakina took on world no. 62 Anna Kalinskaya in the second round. The Russian beat 16-year-old Brenda Fruhvirtova in the first round, but facing a major winner in the second round was a difficult test for her.
The two met already once this season, and it was also at a WTA 1000 event, when Rybakina won in Miami. But in Madrid it was a completely different story. Kalinskaya was able to hold her serve in the first set for a very long time, even though her opponent seemed to be pressuring it quite often.
On the other hand, Rybakina hit five aces in the first four service games, something considered a rare sight on the clay courts. But she couldn't continue the serving throughout the first set as Kalinskaya broke in the eleventh game to win the first set 7-5.
The Kazakh was able to come back in the second set, despite being a break down, but she won it 6-4 to force a decider, in which she was a favourite after taking the second set and finding her rhythm.
But Kalinsaya wasn't ready to give up and it was visible since the third set started. The Russian broke her opponent's serve twice and she also saved three break points, to win the match 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 and book a third-round spot at the 2023 Madrid Open.
On the other hand, Rybakina will now want to focus on the upcoming events, which are the WTA 1000 tournament in Rome and the Roland Garros.