It was a bittersweet victory for Rybakina, who outlasted the Russian 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 in one of the longest matches of the WTA season, lasting three hours and 27 minutes. When Rybakina planted the winning smash to close out the win, it was just five minutes shy of 3:00 a.m. on Saturday morning.
Rybakina and Kasatkina who are good friends on the WTA Tour, revisited their epic late-night thriller and chatted amiably about it in a vlog that Kasatkina uploaded on her YouTube channel, which she co-owns with girlfriend Natalia Zabiiako.
Rybakina hilariously tells Kasatkina not to remind her about the match as it continually gives her nightmares. A sodden quarterfinal day in Toronto meant Rybakina's match against Kasatkina finished in the early hours of Saturday. Initially, Rybakina 'prayed' that it would rain non-stop throughout the night so that her match would be suspended.
That wasn't the case and the two players were finally called into action very late into the night on Friday. They served up one of the most bizarre matches of the season, which featured no fewer than 20 breaks of serve. Kasatkina served for the match in sets 2 and 3, and even squandered a match point before Rybakina prevailed.
"Damn! Please don't remind me I have nightmares about it. I tried to sleep at 5 am, slept for a couple of hours, woke up and there was no chance anymore. No, It was horrible I was just dying. Because we arrived at the courts in the afternoon I was supposed to play and it rained again and we sat there all day. I prayed it would not stop raining because I couldn't play that day. It was horrible."
The inclement weather only got worse on Saturday and Rybakina's semifinal clash against Liudmila Samsonova was postponed to Sunday. Although she recovered physically, the Kazakh explained that she was psychologically torn.
"You know the next day was better but still I was the same psychologically killed, because you just arrived from Europe I spend 10 days in Canada and then you just go to bed at 5 a.m. That's horrible."