MIAMI: World No.7 Elena Rybakina produced a stunning performance to tally her 13th consecutive victory by beating No.3 Jessica Pegula 7-6(3), 6-4 to advance to her second straight final at the Miami Open.
In their opening match of the season, Pegula struggled to hold onto her multiple break advantages. In the first set, Pegula defeated Rybakina three times and twice at the score of 5-4 and 6-5. Rybakina struggled with her energy levels, but anytime she trailed in the score, she would swing effortlessly.
The players exited the court due to the second rain delay of the match after Rybakina played a more aggressive tiebreak to increase her perfect record in tiebreaks to 7-0 this season. When the match resumed, Pegula recovered from an 0-40 deficit in her first service game and then solidified a further break for a 3-0 advantage.
True enough, Rybakina’s tenacity paid off. Rybakina patiently fought her way back into the set after falling behind 4-2. Pegula started to make mistakes after becoming frustrated with her inability to contain Rybakina in her own service games, which gave the defending Wimbledon champion room to mount a comeback. After 1 hour and 51 minutes, Rybakina swept the final four games of the match to secure the victory.
Rybakina finished the match with 11 aces. This is the fifth consecutive match in which she has served 10 or more aces.
“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,” WTA.com quoted Rybakina as saying
“I was playing today better when I was down. Then I think that I was doing everything correctly. 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,” she added.
“I think that I started a bit more aggressive because also, I knew that if it’s gonna go to the third set, it’s gonna be much more difficult. So I may be risked a bit more even in the end of the second set,” Rybakina said. (ANI)