2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina and 2022 Australian Open runner-up Danielle Collins will face each other in an Adelaide International first-round matchup. Rybakina, ranked 21st in the world, is not even a seed in a star-studded field of players at a WTA 500 event in Adelaide.
In the first round, Rybakina will face 14th-ranked Collins, who is the fifth seed in the Adelaide main draw.
The @AdelaideTennis women’s lottery Take a look at two of the bottom half matchups, in particular!
pic.twitter.com/RgTyy0sZcF — Marc McGowan 🗣✍️👨🏻💻📰 (@ByMarcMcGowan) December 31, 2022
Rybakina, 23, and Collins, 29, will meet for the second time. In 2021, Collins beat Rybakina in a close contest in San Jose by a score of 7-6(5) 7-6(4).
Since their last meeting, Rybakina has become a Grand Slam champion and is definitely a much better player now.
Rybakina arrives confident in Adelaide
Between December 19 and 24, Rybakina competed in the inaugural Tennis World League in Dubai.
Rybakina enjoyed success with the Hawks team as she, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem went on to win the title. In the final between Hawks and Kites, Rybakina faced world number one Iga Swiatek.
Rybakina put in a strong performance against Swiatek as she ousted the three-time Grand Slam champion with a score of 6-3 6-1. Rybakina started the match with an early 3-0 lead, but Swiatek responded by winning the next three games to tie the opener at three games apiece.
Missing an early break didn’t affect Rybakina, however, who broke Swiatek again and served for the first set in the ninth game. After winning the first set, Rybakina broke Swiatek three times in the second set to complete a straight-set victory.
Fresh off a big win over Swiatek, Rybakina will try to do well in Adelaide. 12 months ago, Rybakina reached the final of the Adelaide International before losing to local favorite Ashleigh Barty. Although Rybakina is unseeded in Adelaide, she can definitely do big things this week and potentially win the title.
It remains to be seen if Rybakina can first get past American tennis star Collins in what will be an impressive first round match.