Rybakina Extends Clay-Court Dominance with Comeback Win in Madrid

Rybakina Extends Clay-Court Dominance with Comeback Win in Madrid

Elena Rybakina's remarkable clay-court dominance continued at the 2024 Mutua Madrid Open, as she staged a stunning comeback to defeat fellow Kazakh Yulia Putintseva 4-6, 7-6 (4), 7-5 in a thrilling quarterfinal encounter.

Rybakina, the 2022 Wimbledon champion, had never previously defeated Putintseva in two prior meetings. However, she displayed immense resilience to overcome a 5-2 deficit in the final set and deny her compatriot a maiden WTA 1000 semifinal appearance.

The match was a tale of two halves. Putintseva, known for her fiery on-court demeanor, seized the initiative early on, securing the first set with a break of serve. She continued her momentum in the second set, breaking Rybakina's serve again.

However, Rybakina, renowned for her cool and composed style, gradually found her rhythm. She broke back immediately and forced a tiebreaker, which she dominated to level the match.

The decider was a rollercoaster of emotions. Putintseva broke Rybakina's serve to take a 5-2 lead and appeared on the verge of victory. But Rybakina refused to surrender. She held her nerve, saving two match points, and reeled off four consecutive games to complete the comeback.

Rybakina's victory extended her clay-court winning streak to eight matches. She has established herself as a formidable force on the surface this season, having triumphed at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix and defeated world No. 1 Iga Swiatek in the semifinals.

Putintseva, despite the heartbreaking loss, has enjoyed a resurgence in her career. She reached the quarterfinals of the Miami Open and upset two seeds in Madrid, demonstrating her ability to compete at the highest level.

In the semifinals, Rybakina will face either defending champion Aryna Sabalenka or rising star Mirra Andreeva, who made a breakthrough at this tournament last year.

Tags: #ElenaRybakina, #YuliaPutintseva, #MutuaMadridOpen, #ClayCourt, #WTA1000

Read more