Sabalenka survives Rybakina and will repeat the final with Swiatek | Relief

Sabalenka survives Rybakina and will repeat the final with Swiatek | Relief
Sabalenka survives Rybakina and will repeat the final with Swiatek | Relief

An epic comeback, with everything lost and facing an inspired, insurmountable opponent, she took the Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, current champion of the WTA 1000 in Madrid, to her third final, the second in a row, against the world number one, the Polish Iga Swiatek, who had previously been defeated, with authority , from the American Madison Keys 6-1 and 6-3. Sabalenka, second in the world, beat Kazakh Elena Rybakina 1-6, 7-5 and 7-6(5) after almost two and a half hours and will reissue the bid for the 2023 title, when he beat Swiatek.

While the men’s team has lost several of its main references and candidates on the ATP circuit, section by section, the women’s tournament will have, on Saturday, the best possible final. The two leading rackets of the WTA tour will be face to face. Just as happened last year. Air of revenge in the bid for the title.

Sabalenka who aspires this year to her third crown in Madrid and thus equaling the Czech Petra Kvitova, the only one with three wins in the tournament, imposed her law in the face of Rybakina’s enthusiasm and furious outburst. The Kazakh of Russian origin who stood at an impeccable moment in the Caja Mágica, dominated with overwhelming authority for a set and a half. Rybakina entered the semi-final encouraged by her eight wins in a row on land that had provided her with success in Suttgart before arriving in Madrid, in her first event of the year on clay. The player with the most victories on the WTA circuit, twenty-nine, in 2024, with successes, in addition, in Abu Dhabi and Brisbane, where she won, precisely against Sabalenka in the last face-to-face recorded between the two, she overwhelmed the Belarusian who did not know how to respond to the push of his rival. At one point, Rybakina won the first set 6-1 and was maintaining a similar course in the second.

Intractable on serve, the winner of the Australian Open found no response to such a gale. The Minsk player who needed three sets in all her matches at the Caja Mágica, against the Polish Magda Linette, the American Robin Montgomery and the North American Danielle Collins, has contributed to her suffering. Only in the quarterfinals, against the Russian Mirra Andreeva, was she able to resolve the clash in two sets.

It was in the seventh game of the second set, when Rybakina served to go up to 5-3 and get one game away from victory, when Sabalenka broke for the first time. He tied it at four. Rybakina, at 5-4 served to win the match. But the Belarusian emerged as champion, broke, won three games in a row and scored the set. The third, decisive, was a fight between two players eager for success in Madrid. Nobody gave up their serve and only the tie break decided. Sabalenka was firmer and physically better against an opponent who never gave up.

Sabalenka, with fourteen titles behind her, two Australian Opens and a finalist at the United States Open in 2023, reached the third final in Madrid. The first, in 2021, she beat the Australian Ashleigh Bartythe most recent, last year, to the Polish Iga Swiatek, in three races.

After the sixth victory in nine duels against Rybakina, Sabalenka defends the crown against the world number one. The final will be repeated and Iga Swiatek will have the opportunity to seal her revenge. She defeated Madison Keys with authority 6-1 and 6-3.

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