Rybakina Helped By Rain Delay To Beat Ostapenko At Italian Open

Rybakina Helped By Rain Delay To Beat Ostapenko At Italian Open

by Evita Mueller

Last last updated

Elena Rybakina will compete in her third WTA 1000 final of the year after beating Jelena Ostapenko at the 2023 Italian Open in Rome.

The young Kazakh never really excelled on the clay courts, but she's in the contest for the world no. 1 spot, and a good performance in Rome is something that she really needed. She defeated Jasmine Paolini and Marketa Vondrousova, but she was also helped by retirements from Iga Swiatek and Anna Kalinskaya.

In the semifinals, she took on another opponent who had success on the clay in the past and another former Roland Garros champion, Jelena Ostapenko. The Latvian beat Sorana Cirstea, Barbora Krejcikova, Daria Kasatkina, and Paula Badosa on her way to the semifinals, and wanted to improve her H2H against Rybakina, already leading it 2-1.

The match started better for Rybakina who broke immediately in the first game and after she added another break in the fifth game, she had a two-break lead that was impossible to lose with her serving qualities.

Although the Kazakh faced some pressure in the eighth game, she saved three break points and used her fourth set point to win the first set of the semifinal match 6-2.

The second set started better for Ostapenko as she got the first break, but her momentum was stopped by a rain delay. The Latvian led 4-2, but faced two break points on her serve, and once the players returned back to the court, Rybakina seemed to be prepared much better.

The world no. 6 won all the remaining games after the rain delay to break her opponent's serve twice and win the match 6-2, 6-4 to set up a final meeting at the 2023 Italian Open in Rome against Anhelina Kalinina from Ukraine.

On Monday, Rybakina is projected to rise to her new career-high in the WTA Rankings as she'll jump to at least no. 5 spot. If she wins in the final, she will be the 4th highest-ranked player on the WTA Tour.


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