Elena Rybakina: 'My serve helped in crucial moments against Martic, she played well'


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Elena Rybakina: 'My serve helped in crucial moments against Martic, she played well'

The 20-year-old Elena Rybakina is through to her fourth WTA final of the season, extending her stellar run so far in 2020 with a hard-fought 7-6, 7-6 victory over Petra Martic. Elena won just two points more than Petra, fending off eight out of 11 break chances and earning three breaks from nine opportunities before sealing the deal in the tie breaks to set Simona Halep title clash.

The Kazakh player hit 32 winners and 23 unforced errors, saving a set point in the opening set and bouncing back in the second to seal the deal in straight sets after two hours and 11 minutes. Petra made a better start, delivering two early breaks and opening a 5-3 advantage, serving for the set in game ten.

Elena fended off a set point to break back, erasing another break point in the 11th game to set up a tie break that the youngster won 7-5 on her fourth set point. Trailing 3-0 in set number two, Rybakina pulled the break back in game seven and erased a set point at 5-6 just like in the opener, gathering momentum and taking the tie break 7-2 to secure the place in the fourth WTA final of the season.

"I'm so tired, but happy," said Rybakina. "The first set was not easy because she plays well; her slice is a strong weapon. Her serve, it's not flat like I played against Pliskova, for example; it's a completely different style of game.

It was not easy to start against Martic but I tried to work every point. I was 3-0 down in set number two but knew it would be easier to win it instead of playing the third; I wanted to win it so much. Serve helped me today in the crucial moments and I was fighting every point.

It's amazing to reach the fourth final of the season already; hopefully, I can keep this momentum as long as possible."