Elena Rybakina signs up to play tournament week before Australian Open



by DZEVAD MESIC

Elena Rybakina signs up to play tournament week before Australian Open
© Getty Images Sport - Sarah Reed

World No 4 Elena Rybakina has signed up to return to the Adelaide International in 2024, the tournament announced. Rybakina, 24, is set to play in Adelaide for a third consecutive year. In 2022, Rybakina made an impressive debut in Adelaide - in which she fell just short of winning the title after losing to Australian Ashleigh Barty, who was the top-ranked player at the time.

This year, Rybakina competed at Adelaide 1 and Adelaide 2 in back-to-back weeks. In the first Adelaide event, Rybakina was beaten by Marta Kostyuk in the round-of-16. The following week, Rybakina lost to Petra Kvitova in the Adelaide first round.

But Rybakina has improved a lot since then and there is no doubt that she will be among the top favorites for the Adelaide title between January 08-14.

Rybakina got praised by Barty after the Adelaide final

At the start of the 2022 season when Rybakina met Barty in the final, the Australian was ranked at No 1 in the world and considered the best player in the game.

Barty entered the final as the big favorite against Rybakina and she ended up beating the Kazakh 6-3 6-2. Although Barty routinely beat Rybakina, she still spoke very highly of the Kazakh and her game. “It’s never easy starting the season off the back of a tough pre-season, but it was really fun to play out here with you today and I wish you the best of luck for the rest of the year.

You guys have made this week exceptional for me. You’ve made it so much fun, and you’ve brought that spark back into my tennis, and I thank you so much for that. I really do appreciate it," Barty said during the on-court trophy presentation. In Adelaide, Rybakina will be looking to make a good run and prepare herself well for the Australian Open.

Elena Rybakina Australian Open