Elena Rybakina reached her fourth final of the 2020 season at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Friday. The 20-year-old upset the eighth-seeded Petra Martic in their semi-final 7-6(5), 7-6(2) in two hours and 12 minutes, not only coming from a break down but also saving a set point across both sets.
This is her second final at a Premier, after St. Petersburg last week. After the match, Rybakina said she was tired but also happy. She went on to add, “First set it was not easy because she plays really good. She has really good slices.
Her serve, it's not flat like I played with Pliskova for example. It's completely different style of game. It was not easy to start against her. But I tried to work every point. Second set, I was 3-0 down, but I knew it's going to be easier to win this set than play a third one.
I wanted to win second so much”. In Saturday’s final, Rybakina will play Simona Halep. After two back-to-back three-setters, the world no. 2 and top-seed had a relatively stress-free encounter against Jennifer Brady.
Halep won 6-2, 6-0 in just 62 minutes. “It felt much better than previous matches. I played really well. Everything went in my side. I felt the ball great. I feel like I played the best match since I came here,” Halep shared in the presser after her win.
“It's always a nice opportunity and privilege to play the last match of the tournament. I play for another trophy, so I'm relaxed. I'm focused. I really want it”. Halep and Rybakina played each other in the third round of the 2019 Wuhan Open.
The match ended in Rybakina’s favour after the Romanian was forced to retire mid-match at 5-4 in the opening set with an injury to her lower back. Photo Credit: Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Twitter