Miami Open 2023: Elena Rybakina takes big step towards sunshine double, defeats Anna Kalinskaya in R2

Ryabkina had let a set and a 4-1 lead slip but recovered quite well to win the match and set up a last 32 tie clash against Spaniard Paula Badosa.

Elena Rybakina during her the Indian Wells 2023 final. (Image: Twitter/ BNP Paribas Open)
By Nilavro Ghosh | Mar 24, 2023 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Reigning Wimbledon and Indian Wells champion took a step closer to achieving the sunshine double this season as she beat Anna Kalinskaya 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 in the round of 64 of the 2023 Miami Open. Ryabkina had let a set and a 4-1 lead slip but recovered quite well to win the match and set up a last 32 tie clash against Spaniard Paula Badosa. “I’m happy that I managed to win,” Rybakina said. “I had chances in the second set to close it out but I was a little bit low on energy and she did a couple of good returns, one double-fault from me. So it didn’t go my way in the second but I’m happy that in the third I found my way and won.”

In their first meeting at the tour level, Rybakina overcame a break-down deficit in the opening set to defeat Kalinskaya after falling behind 5-3 and go on to win 7-5, 4-1. However, at 4-4, a shaky service game gave Kalinskaya the break. The No. 64 then calmly served out the set to send Rybakina to her fifth decisive set of the year. In the final set, Rybakina broke Kalinskaya to take a 4-3 lead, and this time the strong Kazakh refused to give up her advantage. Rybakina finished off the victory just before midnight after 2 hours and 15 minutes, trailing 40 winners on the evening, including 14 aces.

“I only had two days and today was quite a long day, we’re finishing now really late,” Rybakina said. “Courts are different, balls are different, so it’s not easy at all. But hopefully these three sets will help me in the next round.”

Dominic Thiem crashes out in R1 for fifth consecutive time

Dominic Thiem fell to his fifth successive defeat in the first round of the 2023 Miami Open on Friday after a 7-6 (9-7), 6-2 loss to Lorenzo Sonego. The Austrian seemed to be on the verge of tears as his poor luck shows no signs of letting up. It is speculated that Thiem never quite fully recovered after suffering a wrist injury back in 2021. The former US Open champion hit 13 winners but also recorded 30 unforced errors which allowed his Italian opponent to take advantage and advance to the second round in Miami.

Read More – Miami Open 2023: An emotional Dominic Thiem falls to Lorenzo Sonego in R1

“I wanted to be aggressive on the return and I was very aggressive overall today. I’ve wanted to play closer to the baseline this year,” Sonego said. “I like to play in Miami because the conditions are really fast.” The Italian will face a tricky test in Daniel Evans in the second round of the ATP 1000 competition.

For Thiem, however, things are going from bad to worse in 2023. Apart from losing his fifth match on a row, the Austrian now has a disappointing 1-8 win-loss record to show for this year so far. After a fine performance in 2022, Thiem has failed to capitalize. His sole victory of the season came against Alex Molcan in the first round of the Buenos Aires Open.

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