Elena Rybakina defeated Jelena Ostapenko 6-2, 6-4 to reach the semifinals of the 2023 Australian Open on Tuesday. The 22nd seed from Kazakhstan finished the match in one hour and 19 minutes. Ostapenko had a 2-0 record against Rybakina going into the match, but from the first game, the latter came out looking like the better player in the matchup.
Since both players were expected to match in terms of hitting the ball, Rybakina turned out to be the better player. Ostapenko never seemed to have gotten over the early break of serve and soon dropped serve for a second time.
She had a couple of break points to win back one of the two but Rybakina closed the door on that chance firmly. In the eighth game of the set, Rybakina pulled the set to 15.
Australian Open: the great glory of Elena Rybakina
The 2017 French Open champion began the second set by playing freely and securing a break on Rybakina’s serve.
However, she returned it without being able to refund it. In the fourth game, the 17th seed had a few more break points to go up 3-1 in the set as Rybakina struggled to hit her serve. Nonetheless, after what was a lengthy service game that featured some errors, some good shots and a couple of instances where Rybakina’s serve came out under pressure, the 2022 Wimbledon champion won her first service game of the set. .
In the fifth game, the pressure got to Ostapenko and she lost her service game to put Rybakina ahead in the match. And though he kept trying to the very end, the match had completely slipped away from Ostapenko when Rybakina closed out the match in a long tenth game that featured a pair of deuces.
Rybakina hit 24 winners, five more than Ostapenko’s 19, and had 21 unforced errors to the latter’s 21. But the biggest difference in the result was in the number of break points saved and converted by each. Both players faced eight break points each.
But where Rybakina converted four of these, Ostapenko was able to convert just one. Meanwhile, the Australian Open semifinal is the second time Elena Rybakina has reached a Major semifinal. She will play Jessica Pegula or Victoria Azarenka next. Photo Credit: WTA Twitter