World No.7 Elena Rybakina defeated Italy’s Martina Trevisan 6-3, 6-0 to advance to her third semi-final of the season at the Miami Open yesterday. The victory extended Rybakina’s current win streak to 12.
The 23-year-old is now two wins away from becoming the fifth woman to complete the “Sunshine Double”, sweeping back-to-back titles at Indian Wells and Miami in a single season. Rybakina captured her first WTA 1000 title two weeks ago at Indian Wells, defeating World No 2 Aryna Sabalenka in the final to win her biggest title since Wimbledon.
Rybakina will face either World No 3 Jessica Pegula or Anastasia Potapova in the semi-finals tomorrow. She is now 20-4 on the season, matching Sabalenka for the tour lead in match wins.
Rybakina needed back-to-back three-set victories to survive the early part of her Miami campaign, including a match-point saving win to best Paula Badosa in the third round. Since then, Rybakina has settled into a steady rhythm, unwinding Elise Mertens 6-4, 6-3 in the Round of 16 and racing away from Trevisan in the quarter-finals.
In their first meeting on tour, Rybakina’s offence proved too much for the crafty Italian. Making her main draw debut in Miami, Trevisan came through the section of the draw vacated by No 1 Iga Swiatek and became the first Italian to reach the quarter-final stage in Miami since 2013. Rybakina earned the first break of the match on a Trevisan double-fault to lead 3-1. Trevisan broke back to get back on serve at 4-3, but Rybakina did not give up a single game from there. With Trevisan struggling to get the ball out of Rybakina’s strike zone, Rybakina settled in and reeled off eight consecutive games to close out the 69-minute victory.
Rybakina finished the match with 23 winners, including 10 aces, and 21 unforced errors. Trevisan hit 11 winners to 13 unforced errors.
Rybakina became the first player to crack 200 aces this season. Coming into the match atop the Hologic WTA Tour’s ace leaderboard with 191, her 10 aces against Trevisan takes her season total to 201.
She also became the first woman to hit 10 or more aces in four consecutive matches since 2018. She is also the first woman to hit 10 or more aces in four matches at a single tournament since Serena Williams at the 2020 US Open.
Elena Rybakina. (AFP)