Elena Rybakina recounts upsetting Serena Williams at French Open in first meeting

In 2021, Rybakina claimed a two-set win over Williams in the French Open round-of-16.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Elena Rybakina recounts upsetting Serena Williams at French Open in first meeting
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Elena Rybakina says she still perfectly remembers upsetting Serena Williams at the French Open and also reveals that she entered that match feeling "super nervous."

Exactly three years ago, Rybakina stunned former 23-time Grand Slam champion Williams 6-3 7-5 in the French Open round-of-16. At the time, it was Rybakina's career-biggest win and also a win that landed her first Grand Slam quarterfinal appearance.

This Saturday, No. 4 seed Rybakina ousted Elise Mertens 6-4 6-2 to reach the French Open round-of-16 and come a win away from making her second quarterfinal at Roland Garros. And following her win over Mertens, the 24-year-old Kazakh was asked about her famous French Open upset over Williams. 

"Of course I remember that match. It was an amazing first experience. I was super nervous to play against Serena. The motivation.. sometimes you have it, sometimes you don’t. It’s normal for any job. I really want to play more and win Grand Slams," Rybakina said.

Elena Rybakina and Serena Williams
Elena Rybakina and Serena Williams © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill
 

Rybakina hopes she wins her fourth title of the year at the French Open

While Rybakina has been forced to miss some tournaments due to injuries and health setbacks, she still has managed to make five finals this year and win three titles. 

So far, Rybakina has been looking pretty good at this year's French Open and she has made the second week at the tournament without a dropped set. With that being said, Rybakina hopes to continue with her fine form and lift her second Grand Slam title at Roland Garros.

“We work a lot. I think it’s also a gift that I’m tall. I’m honestly enjoying playing. Sometimes it’s not easy to get up and push yourself. But overall I love playing and I want to keep on going," Rybakina said.

For a place in the French Open quarterfinal, Rybakina plays next against either Elina Svitolina or Ana Bogdan.

Elena Rybakina Serena Williams French Open
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