World No 62 Anna Kalinskaya was full of praise for Elena Rybakina after stunning the seventh-ranked Kazakh in Madrid. In the Madrid second round, Kalinskaya upset Rybakina 7-5 4-6 6-2. Kalinskaya, 24, and 23-year-old Rybakina, who were both born in Russia, have known each other since their junior days.
Rybakina has been representing Kazakhstan since 2018 after switching nationality. “I’m very happy. Elena is a very tough player. Since juniors, we always played difficult matches. I’m happy we can show a good level of tennis.
I’m happy for both of us actually," Kalinskaya said after her win, per The Tennis Letter.
Anna Kalinskaya on beating Elena Rybakina in Madrid: “I’m very happy. Elena is a very tough player. Since juniors, we always played difficult matches.
How Kalinskaya beat Rybakina?
The first break points of the match were seen in the fifth game, when Kalinskaya missed out on a break point.
After 10 games without any breaks of serve, Kalinskaya earned the first break of the match in the 11th game to open a 6-5 lead. In the 12th game, Kalinskaya realized her first set point and routinely served out for the opener.
After losing the first set, Rybakina started pressuring heavy Kalinskaya's serve. But Rybakina missed out on three break points in the second game and three more break points in the fourth game. After saving six break points, Kalinskaya broke Rybakina in the fifth game for a 3-2 lead in the second set.
Down by a set and a break, Rybakina responded by claiming back-to-back breaks and winning the next four games to overturn the deficit and send the match into a third set. After losing the second set, Kalinskaya bounced back at the start of the third set as she broke Rybakina in the first game of the decider.
In the fifth game, Kalinskaya broke Rybakina again to go up by a double break and take a 4-1 lead. In the eighth game - when Kalinskaya was serving for the match - Kalinskaya saved two break points before converting her third match point to complete a three-set win.
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