Fri, 02 Jun 2023

Elena Rybakina extends win streak, reaches Miami Open final

Field Level Media
31 Mar 2023, 14:40 GMT+10

Tenth-seeded Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan advanced to the Miami Open final with a rain-delayed, 7-6 (3), 6-4 win over third-seeded Jessica Pegula of the United States on Thursday.

Rybakina finished with an 11-1 edge in aces while earning her 13th consecutive victory. Her final-round opponent will be either 15th-seeded Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic or Romania's Sorana Cirstea.

Rybakina is trying to become the fifth woman to claim the "Sunshine Double," sweeping the spring hard-court events at Indian Wells, Calif., and Miami. Germany's Steffi Graf (1994 and 1996), Belgium's Kim Clijsters (2005), Belarus' Victoria Azarenka (2016) and Poland's Iga Swiatek (2022) previously accomplished the feat.

Earlier Thursday, Kvitova grabbed the last semifinal berth by defeating 18th-seeded Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. The match was originally scheduled for Wednesday night before rain pushed it back to Thursday.

Kvitova, 33, is looking to win a WTA 1000 event for the first time since 2018, when she captured tournaments in Doha, Qatar, and Madrid. She is now the seventh woman to reach 20-plus semifinals in WTA 1000 events, a level that was established 14 years ago.

"It means a lot, for sure," Kvitova said. "It's a big tournament. I've never been in the semifinal here, so it's nice, especially when I played the quarterfinals in Indian Wells. So I'm happy that the momentum is there."

Kvitova's two Grand Slam titles came at Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014.

Kvitova and Cirstea will clash on Friday for the right to meet Rybakina for the title.

"It's nice to be playing somebody who is in as good form as me, so it will be a great matchup, for sure," Kvitova said of opposing Cirstea. "We played a few battles already during our years. We practiced here before the tournament started as well."

--Field Level Media

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