The Kazakhstani started the 2024 WTA season in very good form, beating Aryna Sabalenka in the Brisbane International final to win her first title of the new season. Despite surprisingly losing early in Melbourne, Rybakina returned to her top form in Abu Dhabi.
She bested Danielle Collins in the first round, and had no troubles against Cristina Bucsa, before beating also Liudmila Samsonova from Russia. In the final, she faced yet another Russian, this time Daria Kasatkina.
For the Russian, it was a bit bittersweet final, as she complained about scheduling before the final, pointing out how ridiculous it is that she will have to play in Doha one day after playing a final in Abu Dhabi.
But her opponent was nice enough to make sure she wouldn't have to spend a lot of time on the tennis court. Rybakina literally flew into the match, winning the first set 6-1 after breaking her opponent in each one of her service games.
In the second set, Kasatkina showed why she has broke into the Top 10 multiple times in her career. The Russian managed to trouble her opponent, but she couldn't create too much pressure.
Rybakina, on the other hand, stayed aggressive, and it paid off. She got the crucial break in the ninth game of the second set to serve for the match, and after winning the first two points on her serve, it looked like it would be a quick finish from her.
However, Kasatkina then won two points to make it 30-30, and both players were then surprised by rain, which started falling, suspending the play for a moment.
It's very unusual for Abu Dhabi to see rain, but that's what happened during the final, but Rybakina wasn't bothered by that, winning the following two points after a brief delay to win the match 6-1, 6-4, collecting her second title of the season.