Watch: Fan falls over in stands while attempting to catch Elena Rybakina's ball

A fan badly wanted to win a prize that catching Rybakina's ball could have landed him.

by Dzevad Mesic
Watch: Fan falls over in stands while attempting to catch Elena Rybakina's ball
© Relevant Tennis - X

Elena Rybakina found herself in the middle of a quite bizarre and funny situation following her Doha semifinal win as a fan fell over in the stands while attempting to watch the Kazakh's signed ball.

On Friday, No. 3 seed Rybakina ousted 2021 French Open finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2 6-4 to reach the final in Doha, the first WTA 1000 tournament of the year. Shortly after completing a win, Rybakina stayed on the court and signed a ball before tossing it into the crowd. 

Moments after Rybakina sent the ball into the stands, one fan started running toward the ball. That's when a hilarious moment was captured on the cameras.

For context, the Doha organizers announced there would be a prize for a fan who catches the ball. Among the prizes, there was an iPhone 15, Apple Watch or iPad.

Rybakina on facing Iga Swiatek

Following her win over Pavlyuchenkova, Rybakina set up a final against top-seeded Swiatek, who made the Doha final without needing to play on Friday after Karolina Pliskova gave the Pole a walkover.

Elena Rybakina
Elena Rybakina© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

On Saturday, Rybakina, 24, and 22-year-old Swiatek will be going head-to-head for the fifth time. Since losing to Swiatek in their first meeting in 2021 Ostrava, Rybakina has won their last three meetings.

Last year, Rybakina ousted Swiatek 6-4 6-4 at the Australian Open before also dismantling the Pole 6-2 6-2 in Indian Wells. In May, Rybakina and Swiatek were tied to two games apiece in the third set of their Rome match when the Pole retired due to injury.

Ahead of their first meeting in 2024, Rybakina spoke very highly of Swiatek and showed appreciation and respect for the Pole.

“It’s true. We know each other really well. It’s great to see her back. It was such a tough match. She played really well. I’m happy in the end I managed to finish the match and play maybe a bit better in important moments," Rybakina said of facing Swiatek. 

Elena Rybakina