January 26, 2023
Elena Rybakina is one step away from repeating her Wimbledon 2022 triumph after reaching the final of the Australian Open.
At the tender age of 23, Rybakina has truly broken through now – and the showpiece in Melbourne should hold no fears for her.
She explained: ‘I got a lot of experience from Wimbledon and I want to come on court for the final and enjoy the moment.’
Elena Rybakina can go from strength to strength and defend her title at Wimbledon 2023!
For now her focus will be on the Aussie Open final against Aryna Sabalenka.
And there is no doubt that Sabalenka’s semi-final was the easier of the two against the unseeded Magda Linette.
The 30-year-old underdog managed to take their first set to a tie break ad she can take comfort from that.
But she barely competed when it really mattered as Aryna found top gear.
Sabalenka sailed through 7-6 (7-1), 6-2 to set up the big showdown with Rybakina.
She admitted: ‘I didn’t start very well but in the tie-break I found my rhythm and trusted myself and went for my shots.’
You could argue that Rybakina took even longer to settle properly. But it was to her credit that she held her nerve eventually.
If Elena was going to crumble, we probably would have seen it happen against the determined veteran, Victoria Azaranka.
In fact Azarenka had three break points to serve for the first set – and she really should have converted the third of those chances.
Maybe Victoria just wanted to win too much – because she realises her opportunities to win another major elsewhere could be few and far between.
But willowy Rybakina has deceptive power to draw upon. Her game owes much to a bullet serve and a sizzling backhand.
The problem for her is that when her serve goes wrong, her coach snipes at her from the players’ box. Under that added pressure, it’s a wonder she keeps herself in the right head space at all!
No rising star should be berated during her most testing moments in a Grand Slam. But Rybakina must be used to it by now – and she can somehow recover.
That’s exactly what she did to win the key tie-break 7-4. And after that, we saw Azarenka’s level drop as the Kazakhstani superstar steamed through for a 7-6, 6-3 victory.
Elena Rybakina will grace Wimbledon 2023 in the summer – and Centre Court will be in awe of her stroke-play.
But Iga Swiatek will be out for revenge following recent reverses. And Emma Raducanu will be desperate to impress at her home Slam.
Also don’t forget the fascinating Coco Gauff, who is already a crowd favourite at the All England Club.
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We can make sure you have some of the best seats in the house!