Italian Open: Elena Rybakina clinches career 1st SF in Roma; awaits Jelena Ostapenko

Paula Badosa was no match for Jelena Ostapenko in their QF meeting

by Abbey Johnson
Italian Open: Elena Rybakina clinches career 1st SF in Roma; awaits Jelena Ostapenko

Elena Rybakina made it to the semi-finals of the Italian Open on Wednesday after getting through her quarter-final clash against Iga Swiatek. The world no. 1 forfeited the match with an injury to her right thigh. The score read 2-6, 7-6(3), 2-2 in Rybakina’s favour at the time of the Pole’s retirement.

Swiatek began the match on a focused note and kept at it all the way to clinching the first set. The early moments of the second set, too, went Swiatek’s way as she broke Rybakina early. However, from the eighth game onwards, momentum slipped away from the top-seed’s side.

Rybakina got the break back in the eighth game of the set and held on long enough to push the set into the tie-break. In the tie-break, the proceedings went the Kazakh’s way. In the third set, Swiatek, who’d taken an MTO during the break after the second set, decided she wasn’t able to play further in the match.

Swiatek’s exit from Rome put an end to her victory streak in the 1000 tournament after 14 matches. Meanwhile, this is the first time in her career that Rybakina’s gone this far in a tournament on clay. This result also meant that the 23-year-old reached the fourth semi-final in a tournament this year.

Of these, including Rome, she’s made it to three WTA 1000 events’ semi-finals.

Italian Open: Jelena Ostapenko's recovering lost ground

Rybakina’s next opponent will be Jelena Ostapenko. The 20th seed from Latvia came through against Paula Badosa 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 in a match that lasted a little over an hour and 45 minutes.

Ostapenko finished the match with 87 points, 13 more than her opponent’s 74. Like Elena Rybakina, this is the first time Jelena Ostapenko’s gone into the semi-finals of the Italian Open. In fact, the 2017 French Open winner will be contesting her first semi-final in a tournament on clay since her Paris heroics. Photo Credit: Italian Open Twitter

Elena Rybakina Jelena Ostapenko Paula Badosa