Elena Rybakina addresses chances of ending 0-4 head-to-head against Liudmila Samsoova


Elena Rybakina addresses chances of ending 0-4 head-to-head against Liudmila Samsoova
© Getty Images Sport - Christopher Pike

Elena Rybakina acknowledges Liudmila Samsonova is "a really tough opponent" and highlights she plans to give her absolute best and see if that can lead her to her first-ever win over the Russian. 

Rybakina, the 2022 Wimbledon champion, dismantled qualifier Cristina Bucsa 6-1 6-4 to reach the Abu Dhabi Open semifinal. On Saturday, top-seeded Rybakina will be battling against No. 8 seed Samsonova for a place in the Abu Dhabi final.

Although Rybakina has been among the best players in the game for the past two years, she has yet to record a win over world No. 15 Samsonova. Going into the Abu Dhabi semifinal, 24-year-old Rybakina has zero wins and four defeats against 25-year-old Samsonova.

“She’s a really tough opponent. I’ve not won against her yet so I will try to do my best and we’ll see what’s going to happen," Rybakina said of facing Samsonova, via The National.

Elena Rybakina
Elena Rybakina© Getty Images Sport - Christopher Pike

Samsonova on facing Rybakina

After claiming a three-set win over Rybakina in their first meeting in 2021 Montreal, Samsonova earned a straight-set win over the Kazakh in Tokyo the following year. Last year, Samsonova stormed back from a set down to beat Rybakina in Montreal before also beating the world No. 5 in Beijing late in the 2023 season. 

Although Samsonova owns a dominant head-to-head against Rybakina, she insists she can enter their Abu Dhabi match relaxed and without anything to lose.

“It’s a good challenge, I have nothing to lose. Elena is already a champion, so all I can do is my best and then we will see,” Samsonova said of facing Rybakina.

“I’m coming from a period when I didn’t play many matches and I didn’t even play to 60 percent of my level. When I arrived here, the goal was to play as many matches as I can, and I’ve done that so I’m happy and can take a lot of confidence.”

Elena Rybakina and Liudmila Samsonova
Elena Rybakina and Liudmila Samsonova© Getty Images Sport - Minas Panagiotakis

It will be interesting to see if Rybakina can finally beat Samsonova or will be the Russian who will continue her dominant head-to-head against the 24-year-old Kazakh.

Elena Rybakina