“I have to fight,” Aryna Sabalenka comes back from a set down to beat Elena Rybakina in Madrid Open Semifinals 

Sabalenka gets pass the Rybakina challenge to book finals match against Iga Swiatek.


“I have to fight,” Aryna Sabalenka comes back from a set down to beat Elena Rybakina in Madrid Open Semifinals 

Elena Rybakina and Aryna Sabalenka (Via Imago)

At the Mutua Madrid Open, Aryna Sabalenka showed incredible determination in the semi-finals against Elena Rybakina. Though Sabalenka had a 5-3 lead in their head-to-head matchups, Rybakina had dominated their recent encounters, winning the last three, including a straight-set victory at Brisbane.

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Continuing that dominance, the Kazakh thumped Sabalenka to win the first set in no time. It was a 6-1 lead, and Rybakina seemed like she had a foot into the finals. However, the defending champion did not extinguish the raging fire inside of her and fought her way from the brink 1-6, 7-5, 7(7)-6 (5). 

Sabalenka later thanked the crowd for cheering her on at that time. She revealed that someone from the crowd had said, “We want to see you on Saturday,” which fueled the fire inside of her to produce a comeback. 

Today, honestly, if not for the people, I probably would’ve left this court losing 6-1, 6-1 and be very sad. Because I felt all the support and I heard someone screaming ‘We want to see you on Saturday’, it really motivated me at that moment. I was like, no I have to fight. I have to try my best. If not, then not. If yes, then I’ll be the happiest person.
said Aryna Sabalenka in the post-match interview

After forcing the game into a third-set tie-break, it was only the Sabalenka show from then on. Though Rybakina tried her level best to stay in the hunt, she lost at the third set-tie-break.

Aryna Sabalenka hopes to give it her all in the finals and secure the third win at the Spanish Capital

After a display of immense grit in the semi-finals of the Madrid Open, Aryna Sabalenka retired back from a set and a breakdown to win the match against Elena Rybakina. It was an intense three-setter clash, where the intensity escalated the moment the match began. 

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Aryna Sabalenka and Iga Swiatek
Aryna Sabalenka and Iga Swiatek (Via Imago)

Now, Sabalenka will face the WTA No.1 Iga Swiatek in the finals. It is a 2023 repeat for the two of them. Last year, the Belarus had started well to put Swiatek under pressure before stealing the match from her. Sabalenka is excited to play the finals and put up a show in front of the Spanish crowd. 

We always fight as hard as we can, always incredible matches. I'm looking forward to this final and I'm going to do everything I can to get this win
said Aryna Sabalenka in the post-match interview

The 25-year-old Belarus finds herself with a chance to win her third title in the Spanish capital. Having won it in 2021 and 2023, she looks to go back-to-back with a second consecutive title win in Madrid. Only time will tell if she can match the dominance of Swiatek and repeat the 2023 finals. 

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