Rybakina saves two match points to escape Putintseva in Madrid quarters

Rybakina saves two match points to escape Putintseva in Madrid quarters
Rybakina saves two match points to escape Putintseva in Madrid quarters

No.4 seed Elena Rybakina pulled off a remarkable escape in the Mutua Madrid Open quarterfinals to notch her first win over Yulia Putintseva, saving two match points trailing 5-2 in the third set to advance 4-6, 7-6(4) , 7-5 in 2 hours and 48 minutes.

Stuttgart champion Rybakina, who also trailed by an early break in the second set, is now on an eight-match winning streak. She owns a tour-leading 30 match wins this season against only four losses.

The former Wimbledon champion has also claimed 16 consecutive victories on clay, with her last loss on the surface coming to Anna Kalinskaya in the second round of Madrid last year. Following that, Rybakina claimed the Rome title and reached the Roland Garros third round, where she drew prior to her match against Sara Sorribes Tormo due to illness.

Rybakina had previously lost both of her encounters with Kazakhstani compatriot Putintseva, at Rome 2020 and Indian Wells 2021. This breakthrough win in the series means she advances to her sixth semifinal of the season, and ninth at WTA 1000 level or above. By contrast, Putintseva falls to 0-7 in quarterfinals at WTA 1000 level or above.

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