Abu Dhabi: Elena Rybakina wins second title in 2024, makes deeply honest confession

Rybakina defeated Daria Kasatkina in the Abu Dhabi Open final.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Abu Dhabi: Elena Rybakina wins second title in 2024, makes deeply honest confession
© Getty Images Sport - Christopher Pike

Elena Rybakina lifted her second WTA title of the year in Abu Dhabi but afterward surprisingly revealed that she came to the United Arab Emirates "without expectations."

Rybakina, seeded at No. 1, ousted seventh-seeded Daria Kasatkina 6-1 6-4 in the Abu Dhabi final. After winning her sixth WTA title in the opening week of the season at the Brisbane International, Rybakina has now also won her seventh title in Abu Dhabi.

Early in the first set, Rybakina broke Kasatkina in the second game but got broken back instantly in the following game. However, blowing an early break didn't impact Rybakina, who claimed back-to-back breaks in the fourth and sixth games to win four games in a row and win the first game in style.

Early in the second set, Rybakina was twice up by a break but Kasatkina both times managed to get the break back as the two players were tied to three games apiece after the opening six games of the set. But after earning her third break of the second set for a 5-4 lead, Rybakina managed to serve out for the match in the following game and complete a two-set win over Kasatkina.

Elena Rybakina and Daria Kasatkina
Elena Rybakina and Daria Kasatkina© Getty Images Sport - Christopher Pike
 

Rybakina's admission after her Abu Dhabi win

"I was coming to this week without expectations because I had some issues in Melbourne, so we needed some time to get back on court," Rybakina said after winning Abu Dhabi. "I was just trying to get as many matches as I can. Really proud about this week. With every match I felt more confident."

Elena Rybakina
Elena Rybakina© Getty Images Sport - Christopher Pike
 

En route to winning Abu Dhabi, Rybakina also defeated Danielle Collins, Cristina Bucsa and Liudmila Samsonova.

"Really happy with this week and the way I played throughout the week. It was great tennis I think I showed. In the final, I was really focused from the beginning to the end. I'm very proud," Rybakina said.

Rybakina is now set to play at the Qatar Open in Doha, where she is the third-seeded player and has a first-round bye.

Elena Rybakina Daria Kasatkina
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