Elina Svitolina identifies key to upsetting Elena Rybakina at French Open

Svitolina speaks on facing Rybakina in the French Open round-of-16.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Elina Svitolina identifies key to upsetting Elena Rybakina at French Open
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Elina Svitolina has highlighted that she will need to prepare "the right strategy" and then play "the right way" to give herself a chance to beat Elena Rybakina as the Ukrainian tennis star acknowledges that the Kazakh has improved and gotten better as a player since their last meeting at the Tokyo Olympics.

On Monday, former world No. 3 Svitolina will be taking on current world No. 4 Rybakina in the French Open round-of-16. When Svitolina, 29, and 24-year-old Rybakina meet, they will be clashing against each other for the fourth time in their careers and also for the first time since the summer of 2021. 

In the past, Svitolina defeated Rybakina in their first meeting in 2020 Strasbourg final 6-4 1-6 6-2 while the Kazakh won their second meeting 6-4 7-6 (3) in 2021 Eastbourne. Shortly after their Eastbourne match, they met again as Svitolina edged out Rybakina 1-6 7-6 (5) 6-4 at the Tokyo Olympics.

While Svitolina was the favorite in each of her past three meetings versus Rybakina, a lot has changed since as the Kazakh is now a Grand Slam champion and widely considered one of the best players in the game. With that being said, Rybakina enters their French Open match as the favorite but Svitolina leads their head-to-head 2-1 and she certainly knows how to play and beat the Kazakh.

Elina Svitolina and Elena Rybakina
Elina Svitolina and Elena Rybakina © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill
 

Svitolina on facing Rybakina at the French Open

"The last time I played Rybakina at the Olympics, it was such a dramatic match (laughs)," Svitolina told btu.org.ua.

"I know her game hasn't changed, it's just become more consistent. I know how she plays, so now the main thing for me is to have a good rest, to work out tactical moments with the coach on the court to play against her the right way. 

"When you play against an opponent who serves great and goes for her shots, you need to prepare the right strategy. So I'm going to rest, work on the court, then with the physio and get ready for the next match."

It remains to be seen if Svitolina can upset Rybakina and make back-to-back French Open quarterfinal appearances.

Elina Svitolina Elena Rybakina French Open
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