Wimbledon: Ruthless Elena Rybakina gives no chance to Elina Svitolina, reaches SF

Rybakina routinely beat Svitolina to set up a Wimbledon semifinal against Barbora Krejcikova.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Wimbledon: Ruthless Elena Rybakina gives no chance to Elina Svitolina, reaches SF
© Getty Images Sport - Mike Hewitt

Elena Rybakina was all business today as the 2022 Wimbledon champion routinely handled Elina Svitolina to make her second semifinal at The Championships, where Barbora Krejcikova awaits her. 

Rybakina, seeded at No. 4, delivered an outstanding performance as she dominated 21st-seeded Svitolina 6-3 6-2 in just an hour and two minutes of play to improve to 3-2 in her head-to-head versus the Ukrainian former world No. 3. 

Throughout the match, Rybakina was controlling everything as the Kazakh's powerful serve and groundstrokes proved to be too much for Svitolina, who was a semifinalist at The Championships last year. In the end, Rybakina finished with some very impressive stats, firing seven aces - winning 85 percent of her first serve points - and also hitting 28 winners. 

Elena Rybakina
Elena Rybakina © Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney
 

In the other Wimbledon semifinal, Krejcikova won a battle between two former French Open champions after she overcame Jelena Ostapenko 6-4 7-6 (4).

While Ostapenko was the one who was more aggressive - which was not a surprise - her game didn't click like in previous matches as the Latvian had just 16 winners against 35 unforced errors. 

Now, Rybakina, 25, and 29-year-old Krejcikova are set for their third meeting. In the past, they played twice against each other and both times Krejcikova ended on the winning side. However, it should be noted that both of their previous meetings came on hard courts and that their Wimbledon semifinal will also mark their first meeting on a grass court. 

How Rybakina and Krejcikova won their respective Wimbledon quarterfinal wins?

When the Rybakina and Krejcikova match started, the fourth-seeded Kazakh actually got off to a slow start after dropping her serve in the very first game of the match. However, it didn't take long before the 2022 Wimbledon responded, breaking Svitolina in the second and eighth games to overturn the deficit and win the opener.

After winning the last three games of the first set, Rybakina also started the second set with an early break and a 2-0 lead. Five games later, Rybakina broke Svitolina again to go 5-2 up before closing out the match in the following game.

When it comes to the Ostapenko and Krejcikova match, only one break point was seen in the first set - the Czech realized it in the third game and that was enough for her to go up by a set. 

Barbora Krejcikova
Barbora Krejcikova© Getty Images Sport - Sean M. Haffey
 

Down by a set, Ostapenko bounced back at the start of the second set by opening a 4-1 lead but then stunningly lost the next four games as Krejcikova went 5-4 up. But after winning four consecutive games, Krejcikova surprisingly failed to serve out for the match in the 10th game as Ostapenko managed to force a tie-break.

However, failing to serve out for the match didn't impact much Krejcikova, who won four consecutive points to go 5-2 up in the tie-break before converting her second match point. 

What Rybakina and Krejcikova said after sealing a semifinal meeting?

After the Tokyo Olympics in the summer of 2021, Svitolina had a 2-1 head-to-head versus Rybakina. But after Rybakina earned back-to-back wins over Svitolina at this year's French Open and Wimbledon, the 25-year-old Kazakh now leads their rivalry. 

However, Rybakina made sure to let Svitolina know that she respects very much even after beating her in the last two Grand Slams.

“It’s always tough to play Elina. She’s a great player and fighter. No matter the score, it was not as easy as it might look like," Rybakina said.

Elena Rybakina and Elina Svitolina
Elena Rybakina and Elina Svitolina © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill
 

If Rybakina beats Krejcikova, she will meet in the final either Jasmine Paolini or Donna Vekic. But of those four remaining players, only the Kazakh is in the contention to win her second Wimbledon title.

“Well of course I have such amazing memories from 2022. I’m just really enjoying every time I step on court. Especially when I play good, it’s just really amazing. Thank you again for coming," Rybakina said when asked about being the only player left in the draw with a Wimbledon title.

Meanwhile, Krejcikova - who was basically bedridden earlier this year due to illness - couldn't hide her happiness after reaching the Wimbledon semifinal.

“It was a very difficult period. It was actually super difficult even before this tournament. I really want to thank my boys and my team that’s there today. There have been many doubts from inside but also from the outside world. I’m super happy I never gave up and that I’m standing here right now and that I’ve reached the semifinals," Krejcikova said.

Elena Rybakina Elina Svitolina Barbora Krejcikova
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