Clay generally isn't the best surface for Rybakina because it kind of negatives all the things that she does well on the court. It allows her to hit the ball very hard as it slows down serves but in general, she'd prefer to play on a hard court or even a grass court.
Even so, she's made it to the Italian Open quarter-final with some very fine performances. It's especially encouraging because playing in Rome is tough for her due to her allergies. It's been affecting her this year as well however she's glad to have managed it well so far.
Coming here I didn't expect much because unfortunately Rome for me is the worst for my allergies. I'm happy that I'm managing to win and get these matches.
Up next for her is Iga Swiatek who defeated Donna Vekic to set up this clash in Rome and it's going to be an interesting one. Traditionally, Rybakina has been a tough matchup for Swiatek due to the various factors but on clay, things change quite a bit. The Kazakh herself expects quite a different matchup this time around as it's on clay.
I think it changes it a lot. It's more rallies, it's more physical, she has more time, I have more time. It's going to be a tough one for sure. I think it's much different than the hard courts for sure. I'm not expecting much. If Iga wins, or against Donna, for me it's a practice. I'm taking it this way. Hopefully, it will help me perform at the French Open.
It's going to be a great challenge for the one-time grand slam champion as she works towards adding more grand slams in the future. Right now, she can make another step toward winning the WTA 1000 trophy, with her eyes set on the upcoming Roland Garros.