Elena Rybakina beat the world No. 1 Iga Swiatek to reach the final in Indian Wells
Elena Rybakina conquered world no. 1 Iga Sviontek in straight sets on Friday to reach Indian Wells final and will continue its electric form this season.
Swiatek had no response to powerful ground shots from the Wimbledon champion as the Pole lost 6-2 6-2 in an hour and 16 minutes.
With the win, Rybakina became the first player to win multiple matches against a reigning world No. 1 since 2019, after she beat Swiatek in the fourth round of the Australian Open earlier this year.
“With Iga, she is a tough, very strong opponent, but when I play so well and everything goes on as usual – because today I played some moments, I would say, at my highest level – [these are] moments when you feel, okay, I can beat anyone if I always play like that, ”said Rybakina after the victory.
“But that’s the goal, you never feel amazing and you improve every game. I think today it was just really good from me.”
The world is not. 10 dominated from the start, beating Swiatek at the first opportunity to win the first set in just 36 minutes.
Rybakina then pulled ahead 5–0 in the second before Sviontek held on and stepped back to stop the run somewhat, but the Kazakhstani held on to win, becoming the first player from her country to reach the singles final in the tournament’s history. Rybakina was born in Russia but has been representing Kazakhstan since 2018.
“If you landed on the planet tonight and heard No. 1 is playing, it’s Rybakina,” former professional tennis player Pam Shriver tweeted.
Swiatek subsequently revealed that she had recovered from her rib injury and “doesn’t feel 100% physically”, although she still plans to play at the Miami Open next week.
“Honestly, I haven’t played with a lot of injuries,” she added. “Of course, this is a new situation for me. Last time I played with an injury, the only tournament I remember is like Roland Garros 2019. So I was pretty young.
“Now it’s a completely different level. So I feel like you have to be 100% ready for matches.”
Rybakina will now face Belarusian Arina Sabolenko for the Indian Wells title in a repeat of the Australian Open final this year.