Elena Rybakina: First set made difference against Aryna Sabalenka

Rybakina defeated Sabalenka in the Australian Open.

by Dzevad Mesic
Elena Rybakina: First set made difference against Aryna Sabalenka

Elena Rybakina thinks winning an extremely tight first set was the difference in her Indian Wells final matchup with Aryna Sabalenka. On Sunday, Rybakina defeated Sabalenka 7-6 (11) 6-4 to win her first Indian Wells title.

In the first set, Rybakina recovered from a break down before saving Sabalenka's two set points in the tie-break. Rybakina won the first set after converting her sixth set point. "Well, I think important was the first set.

We both had chances, but in the end, it went my way. So I think it was important this first set, and then it was a bit easier to start the second with an early break. Then the conditions also changed a bit. In the end of the second set it became very windy, so from one side it was difficult to play.

But since I had this advantage of the score I, think this was the difference today," Rybakina explained.

Rybakina on what was different this time against Sabalenka

Earlier this year, Sabalenka recovered from a set down to beat Rybakina in the Australian Open final.

After beating Sabalenka in the Indian Wells final, Rybakina was asked to explain what was different this time. "Yeah, so of course I felt the difference, because in Australia she served really well. The second serve was, I think, same speed as the first one.

So kind of really aggressive. Here I had some chances in the first set, and then I think in the second I started a bit more aggressive. I think it’s also not easy after to find the rhythm if we are both big servers and you a little bit down already in the score," Rybakina said.

Meanwhile, Rybakina will now switch her focus on Miami, where she will also try to win her first title. It remains to be seen if Rybakina can win both Sunshine Double events this year.

Elena Rybakina Aryna Sabalenka Australian Open