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Swiatek Gets Walkover Into Qatar Open Final Clash With Rybakina

  • February 17, 2024

Defending champion and world number one Iga Swiatek was on Friday handed a walkover into the Qatar Open final where Elena Rybakina will stand in her way of a third successive title at the Gulf event

Doha, (APP – UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 16th Feb, 2024) Defending champion and world number one Iga Swiatek was on Friday handed a walkover into the Qatar Open final where Elena Rybakina will stand in her way of a third successive title at the Gulf event.

Four-time Grand Slam champion Swiatek had been scheduled to face Karolina Pliskova in her semi-final.

However, the Czech, who won the Cluj tournament in Romania last weekend, withdrew suffering from a lower back injury.

Former Wimbledon champion Rybakina was stronger at the key moments as she beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2, 6-4 to reach Saturday’s final.

Rybakina, the third seed, converted four of six break points while her unseeded opponent could only exploit one of the nine she had.

“I am happy that in the end I managed to finish the match, playing a little better in these important moments,” Rybakina, who represents Kazakhstan, said in her on-court interview.

Rybakina broke Pavlyuchenkova in the fifth game of the opening set and broke again in the eighth.

Pavlyuchenkova saved three set points in the next game but also squandered a break point of her own before succumbing.

“The first set it was very close, we were both fighting,” said Rybakina.

Rybakina broke easily in the second-set opener before holding serve to take a sixth straight game.

Pavlyuchenkova held to end that streak and then had six break points in the next game, but could take none of them.

She finally converted her eighth break point as she came back from 30-0 down in the eighth game. She then held serve as Rybakina wobbled on her forehand.

With Rybakina serving for the match, Pavlyuchenkova had another break point but hit long. She saved one match point but Rybakina then produced an ace to seal victory.

The 32-year-old Pavlyuchenkova is finding her form again after a long struggle with a knee injury.

“Great to see her back,” said Rybakina. “She played really well. It was a really tough match.”

On facing Swiatek in the final, she added: “She’s a great champion so it is going to be very difficult. But I will try to enjoy it and do as much as possible.”

Rybakina is aiming for a third title this year, after winning in Adelaide and last week in Abu Dhabi.


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