Madrid: Elena Rybakina pulls off epic comeback after being inches away from QF loss

Rybakina was inches away from losing to Putintseva but then a big comeback ensued.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Madrid: Elena Rybakina pulls off epic comeback after being inches away from QF loss
© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

No. 4 seed Elena Rybakina saved some match points and pulled off an epic comeback against 50th-ranked Yulia Putintseva in the Madrid Open quarterfinal. 

On Wednesday, top-ranked Kazakh female tennis player Rybakina took on fellow Kazakh Putintseva and the two delivered a thriller. And after two hours and 48 minutes of play, it was 2022 Wimbledon champion Rybakina who claimed a 4-6 7-6 (4) 7-5 win over Putintseva. 

In the third set, Rybakina was inches away from losing the match as she was 2-5 down and facing two consecutive match points. But in those moments, Rybakina's impressive comeback started and the world No. 4 is now set to battle against either Aryna Sabalenka or Mirra Andreeva in the Madrid semifinal.

Elena Rybakina and Yulia Putintseva
Elena Rybakina and Yulia Putintseva© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney
 

How Rybakina beat Putintseva?

Early in the first set, Rybakina saved a break point in the first game but also missed out on three break points in the following game. After a couple of missed break points on both sides, Putintseva claimed the first break of the match in the fifth game and then held on to her serve for the rest of the first set to seal the opener.

Down by a set, Rybakina also found herself down by a break in the second set after dropping her serve in the third game. But just after falling down by a set and a break, Rybakina managed to break Putintseva for the first time in the match and get the break back.

Leading 6-5, Rybakina had a set point on Putintseva's serve - but didn't convert. However, Rybakina remained calm as she led from the start until the end of the second-set tie-break to force a decider.

Elena Rybakina
Elena Rybakina© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney
 

In the third set, Putintseva earned the first break of the set in the sixth game and then also served out the following game to open a 5-2 lead. In the following game, Putintseva had a great chance to seal win but Rybakina saved two consecutive match points.

After Putintseva missed out on two consecutive match points, Rybakina claimed back-to-back breaks in the ninth and 11th games to overturn the deficit and complete a comeback win.

If Sabalenka beats Andreeva tonight, we will get a rematch of the 2023 Australian Open final in Madrid.

Elena Rybakina
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