Rybakina battles past Pegula to reach the Miami final

Elena Rybakina defeated Jessica Pegula 7-6 (3), 6-4 on Thursday night. She’ll face the winner of the match between Czech Petra Kvitova, the No 15 seed, and Romanian Sorana Cirstea in the final

Elena Rybakina Mar 25, 2023; Miami, Florida, US; Elena Rybakina (KAZ) serves against Paula Badosa (ESP) (not pictured) on day six of the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)
Miami Open presented by Itau •Semi-final • completed
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Elena Rybakina hasn’t always produced her best tennis at this year’s Miami Open. But the gritty world No 7 continues to deliver victories as she battles through tough conditions and tougher opponents while keeping her chances of winning the prestigious Sunshine Double alive in Miami.

On Thursday night Rybakina stretched her career-best winning streak to 13 matches as she battled past world No 3 Jessica Pegula, 7-6(3), 6-4 in one hour and 29 minutes.

Rybakina improves to 21-4 on the season – she has now won each of her last five matches against top 5 opposition.

Rybakina will face the winner of Friday’s semi-final between Petra Kvitova and Sorana Cirstea in Saturday’s final. If she is successful she will become the fifth woman in history to claim titles at Indian Wells and Miami in the same season, joining Steffi Graf, Kim Clijsters, Victoria Azarenka and Iga Swiatek.

She has had to be resilient to get this far. Rybakina won her first two matches in three sets, as she adjusted to the different conditions in Miami, and even fought off a match point against Paula Badosa in the third round (her second match).

On Thursday night she was pressured by Pegula early and often, but rallied from a break down three times in the opening set before taking it in a tiebreak. She battled back from 3-0 down in the second set, winning six of the final seven games to earn her first career victory over Pegula in three tries.

The Kazakh beat Russian Anna Kalinskaya (7-5, 4-6, 6-3), Spaniard Paula Badosa, the No 21 seed (3-6, 7-

Miami WTA 1000, other semi-final result (Hard Rock Stadium, hard, USD 8.800.000):

  • Petra Kvitova vs. Sorana Cirstea

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