Thu, 30 Nov 2023

Miami [US], March 26 (ANI): World No.7 Elena Rybakina rallied from a set down to defeat former No.2 Paula Badosa 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 in the third round of the Miami Open.

The triumph increased Rybakina's current winning streak to 10 games and maintained her chances of sweeping the Sunshine Double. Rybakina will face Elise Mertens in the Round of 16 on Monday.

Beginning with the first game of the match, Rybakina had trouble getting into a routine when serving. In the first set, Badosa took advantage of her second serve to break her serve four times. In the opening frame, Rybakina used her second serve to win only 22% (4 of 18) of the time.

But in the early going of the second set, Rybakina gradually changed the pace. Rybakina had her serve broken four times in the opening set, but the rest of the match saw her retain it in all but one game.

But, Rybakina found herself serving behind 5-4 in the second set and on a match point at 30-40 as Badosa calmly handled her own service games. In response, Rybakina played a flawless point that included a solid first serve, two forehand swings, the last of which clipped the sidelines for a victory.

Full of confidence and back in control, the reigning Wimbledon champion raced to the finish line to close out the two-hour and 31-minute match. Rybakina concluded with 60 winners, nearly four times as many as Badosa, who had 16 winners to her name.

"It didn't start well in the first set but in the end I just found some energy. I was trying to push more on the serve and started to move better on the court," quoted Rybakina as saying.

"It was a really tough battle. I was trying to focus on every point because the first set didn't go my way, but it was just a few mistakes here and there. Overall, I played well. Paula was serving well. Just happy that I was able to manage in three sets," she added. (ANI)

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