Indian Wells: Elena Rybakina said she showed glimpses of her best form during her dominant win over world number one Iga Swiatek in the Indian Wells semi-final, adding she feels she can beat anyone by maintaining that level.
The world number 10 thrashed holder Swiatek 6-2 6-2 to set up a clash with Aryna Sabalenka. The Kazakh said her aggressive style and booming serve made all the difference in the match.
“Today I was pushing a lot. Overall, some players it’s more difficult to play against,” Wimbledon champion Rybakina said.
“With Iga, she’s a tough opponent, but when I play like this and everything goes in... Today in some moments I played at my highest level. There are moments you feel, ‘OK, I can beat anyone if I always play like this’.
“It’s the goal, but you never feel amazing and perfect every match. I think today it was really good from me.”
Rybakina said she was reaping the rewards of the hard work she had put in over the years.
“I think I’ve been improving in these four years on tour. It’s just everything coming together - the experience, the team became bigger and I’m working a lot on fitness,” she said.
“Just getting stronger a bit physically and just the work we did for the past four years. It’s showing now on the court and with my results.”
Rybakina will look to beat Sabalenka for the first time in their fifth meeting, after losing to the Belarusian in the Australian Open final in January.
“It’s not going to be an easy match,” Rybakina said. “It’s going to be in these clutch moments that I need to play better. Hopefully now it’s going to change the score between us.”
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates in attendance for the semi-final between Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina and Poland’s Iga Swiatek at the 2023 WTA Indian Wells Open in Indian Wells, California, on Friday. (AFP)