Elena Rybakina shares what she did moments before creating epic Madrid comeback win

Rybakina reached the Madrid semifinal with an epic quarterfinal win over Yulia Putintseva.

by Dzevad Mesic
Elena Rybakina shares what she did moments before creating epic Madrid comeback win
© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Elena Rybakina says she simply decided to put her emotions and frustration aside when being inches away from suffering a shock loss to Yulia Putintseva and it worked.

In the Madrid quarterfinal. No. 4 seed Rybakina was 2-5 down in the third set and world No. 50 Putintseva also had two consecutive match points on the 2022 Wimbledon champion's serve. Just when it seemed that Rybakina had her back turned against the wall, she managed to save both match points and reduce the deficit to 3-5. 

Then, Rybakina got the break back in the ninth game and then broke Putintseva again in the 11th game for a 6-5 lead before serving out for the match in the following game. The moment Rybakina found herself down 2-5 and facing two match points, she responded by winning the next five games to complete a big 4-6 7-6 (4) 7-5 win in just less than three hours of play.

“It was really tough. I knew it wouldn’t be easy. I was hoping I’d start better... It wasn’t easy always coming back, coming back. At 2-5 I already left the emotions and frustration and just kept playing. The momentum shifted. Yulia started to get a bit more angry and some mistakes helped me. I just kept on playing. I’m really happy," Rybakina said after her win.

Elena Rybakina
Elena Rybakina© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Rybakina on potentially facing Aryna Sabalenka next

In the Madrid semifinal, Rybakina will be playing against either No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka or rising Russian star Mirra Andreeva. Either way, Rybakina expects a really tough battle.

“We’ll see who wins. If it’s Aryna.. she’s a great champion. It’ll be a tough battle like we always have," Rybakina said.

Elena Rybakina and Aryna Sabalenka
Elena Rybakina and Aryna Sabalenka© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

"If it’s Mirra, she’s young and she has nothing to lose. These kinds of players are very dangerous. You never know what to expect. I’m looking forward to it and hopefully I can recover."

Elena Rybakina Yulia Putintseva