- World No.7 Elena Rybakina defeated Jessica Pegula 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 to advance to her second straight final at the Miami Open
- Rybakina is on course to repeat Iga Swiatek’s feat from last year by winning the Sunshine Double
Elena Rybakina beat world number three Jessica Pegula 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 on Thursday night to move through to Miami Open final.
The 23-year-old Kazakhstani is on course to repeat Iga Swiatek‘s feat from last year by winning the Sunshine Double. She is bidding to become the fifth woman in history to follow victory at Indian Wells with the Miami title. However, she will first have to go through Sorana Cirstea or Petra Kvitova in Saturday’s final.
Speaking after her victory, Rybakina praised Jessica saying that it’s not easy to play against her. Rybakina added that she was playing better when down.
“Jessica, she played really well some moments. “It’s not easy to play against her because she keeps the ball really low, and it’s difficult to redirect the ball. I was playing today better when I was down. Then I think that I was doing everything correct. It was just not enough maybe energy. Maybe I was getting a bit mad when I was down so I was trying to push myself.” Eurosport quotes Elena Rybakina.
Rybakina’s win was her first over the American. She now leads the tour in match wins in 2023 with a record of 21-3 and has not lost a set since since needing three sets to win in her first two matches of the tournament.
How The Game Unfolded
Elena Rybakina beat Jessica Pegula on Thursday evening to win 13th consecutive match and move close to sweeping the Sunshine Double.
The opening set was a rollercoaster with Pegula breaking Rybakina twice to serve for the set at 5-4. However, Rybakina dug herself out of trouble with some quality hitting.
Pegula broke again to serve for the set at 6-5 but the Kazakhstani found away back again for the second time. Rain caused the play to be stopped for some minutes at 2-2 in the tie-break. Rybakina went ahead to win five of the next six points to pocket the set.
The rain continued to poor heavily, forcing a stoppage. In a period o f twist and turns, Elena Rybakina managed to raise her game and beat Pegula
Rybakina finished the match with 11 aces. This is the fifth consecutive match she has served 10 or more aces, making her the first woman since Serena Williams to record 10 or more aces in five consecutive matches at a single tournament.
Speaking after the loss, Pegula said she feels disappointed because she didn’t convert the many chances she had.
“To defend semis here is obviously great, but disappointed today because I had so many chances to win a set and see if I could get any momentum going. So disappointed I wasn’t able to do that. But all in all, it was a good tournament. I can’t be too disappointed.” Hologic WTA Tour quotes Jessica Pegula.