Elena Rybakina receives pretty difficult projected path to Beijing title

Rybakina, 24, set for her debut at the China Open in Beijing.

by Dzevad Mesic
Elena Rybakina receives pretty difficult projected path to Beijing title
© Getty Images Sport - Minas Panagiotakis

Elena Rybakina is set to kick off her Asian swing and the 24-year-old Kazakh has learned her possible path to winning the China Open in her Beijing debut. Rybakina, seeded at No 5, received a pretty tough first-round matchup as she is set to take on world No 23 Zheng Qinwen.

If Rybakina wins her Beijing opener, she will play next against Tatjana Maria, who already beat Martina Trevisan. In the Beijing round-of-16, Rybakina is projected to play against No 10 seed and 2021 French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova.

The Beijing quarterfinal could be a rematch of this year's Australian Open final as Rybakina is projected to meet Aryna Sabalenka there. Should Rybakina reach the semifinal, she could meet there fourth-seeded Jessica Pegula.

In case Rybakina makes the Beijing final, Iga Swiatek and Coco Gauff are the names she could potentially meet there.

Elena Rybakina© Getty Images Sport - Minas Panagiotakis

Rybakina ready to play again

After losing in the US Open third round and withdrawing from this week's WTA event in Tokyo, Rybakina is returning to action in Beijing.

In her pre-tournament press conference, Rybakina revealed what was causing her problems in recent weeks. "Well, for sure I'm focusing now just to play a little bit more matches because unfortunately I got sick again, and maybe no one knew it.

Yeah, in New York was tough for me. After that, it was a couple of weeks to recover. That's why now coming even to Tokyo, it was not the best for me maybe to play there. Yeah, now I'm just looking to play some matches. Of course, all the focus is going to the WTA Finals," Rybakina said.

This year, Rybakina is playing in China for the first time since 2019. "Yeah, it's been a lot of time back. I think I improved a bit in all the aspects. Of course, I was young and I was just coming up. It was amazing experience for me to play in Wuhan in that time for the first time.

Yeah, I think it just changed a lot with experience, overall like making decisions on the court. Yeah, it's been just a long time. Yeah, I'm happy to be back," Rybakina said.

Elena Rybakina China Open