Wimbledon: Elena Rybakina fights back against Shelby Rogers to enter R64

Elena Rybakina's was the only women's match that had wrapped up in the evening at the AEC

by Abbey Johnson
Wimbledon: Elena Rybakina fights back against Shelby Rogers to enter R64

Defending champion Elena Rybakina’s 2023 Wimbledon endeavour began under the roof on Tuesday. The world no. 3, however, had to overcome a slow start against American Shelby Rogers. In the end, Rybakina finished with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 win after an hour and 43 minutes of play.

Rogers put Rybakina on the backfoot from the first game onwards and the latter promptly lost her opening service game. Throughout the set, she wasn’t able to regain the break back although she did get a couple of chances to do so.

The 30-year-old unseeded player clinched the set on her serve in the 10th game. Rybakina bounced back strongly to start the second set and this time it was Rogers who was unable to counter that. The Kazakh built a 5-0 lead for herself when Rogers won her first service game of the set.

In the seventh game, Rybakina served out the set to love. The playbook of the second set made its way into the third set as well. Rybakina gained the upper hand early on and went about her own service games quickly. Rogers did well to hold her serve twice in the set but in the eighth game, while trying to prolong the set by at least one more game, her serve let her down.

Rybakina converted on the first of the three match points that came her way, courtesy of a backhand error from her opponent.

Wimbledon: How Elena Rybakina rewrote the match

Throughout the first set, Rybakina struggled to control the timing of her shots.

She also wasn’t able to get going behind her second serve and that hindered her prospects in those 41 minutes. The 24-year-old won 93% of her first-serve points in the opening set but only 27% of her second-serve points.

In comparison, Rogers was steadier. She won 70% of her first-serve points and 57% of her second-serve points. The third seed did make adjustments from the second set onwards and began to dictate the pace of the match. This brought out errors from Rogers and the match slipped away from her.

In the latter two sets, Rybakina didn’t face any break point. She maintained her margin of first-serve points in the 90s – 93% across both sets. The margin of second-serve points she won improved to 60% and 75% in the second and third sets respectively.

Rybakina finished the match with 31 winners and 18 unforced errors to Rogers’ 20 winners and 31 unforced errors. In the second round of Wimbledon, Rybakina now awaits either lucky loser Nao Hibino or Alize Cornet.

Wimbledon Elena Rybakina Shelby Rogers