Martina Navratilova says she is a bit surprised that Elena Rybakina hasn't done more on the hard courts by now but warned the Kazakh "certainly has the goods" to play extremely well on the surface. Rybakina, ranked at No 4 in the world, has a big game and powerful service and groundstrokes.
Rybakina, 24, has five titles in her collection and two of her five wins came on hard. This year, Rybakina has made progress on hard courts as she won her first WTA 1000 title in Indian Wells and also finished as runner-up at the Australian Open and Miami.
This week, Rybakina is starting her summer on hard courts in Montreal.
Navratilova on Rybakina's chances on hard: She certainly has the goods
“It’s a strange thing that she hasn’t done better by now on the hard courts.
You don’t have to slide on hard courts, but if you can, so much the better. It’s not the best part of her game, but with her solid, solid serving and groundstrokes you’d expect to see more. So we’ll see if she brings the goods -- she certainly has the goods," Navratilova told the WTA website.
This year, Rybakina has been very good on hard courts but still she has won just one title on the surface. At the start of the 2023 season, Rybakina made her second Grand Slam final at the Australian Open before losing to Aryna Sabalenka in tight three sets.
Two months later, Rybakina got her revenge as she beat Sabalenka in the Indian Wells final. After winning her first WTA 1000 title on the hard courts of Indian Wells, Rybakina also made the Miami final - where she was beaten by Petra Kvitova.
"Feels amazing. It's been tough but really good two weeks for me here," Rybakina said after winning her first WTA 1000 title in Indian Wells. In Montreal, Rybakina is the third-seeded player and starts her campaign from the second round by playing against Jennifer Brady. It remains to be seen if Rybakina can start her summer on hard courts with a strong Montreal run.
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