Rybakina wins seventh career title, crowned Abu Dhabi champion
Elena Rybakina once again demonstrated her incredible nerve as she beat Daria Kasatkina in the Abu Dhabi final
Elena Rybakina won the seventh singles title of her career, beating Daria Kasatkina 6-1, 6-4 to become the champion at the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open.
It was a much more straightforward match than Rybakina might have expected – three of their four previous meetings had gone to three sets, and their last encounter, in Montreal last year, ran to three hours and 27 minutes as the Kazakh finally won 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (8).
But the former Wimbledon champion knows what it takes to win titles, having won the last two finals she has contested, mostly recently in Brisbane last month, where she beat Aryna Sabalenka.
And Rybakina – while conserving her energy this week – also benefited from a first-round bye as the top seed, meaning she spent only five hours and 11 minutes on court before the final, whereas Kasatkina had eight hours and 19 minutes on court in her four previous matches.
She did not even lose composure when the match was interrupted by a short rain delay in what turned out to be the final game – at 30-all on her serve.