Elena Rybakina reaches her third WTA 1000 final of the season in Rome - UBITENNIS
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Elena Rybakina reaches her third WTA 1000 final of the season in Rome



Reigning Wimbledon Elena Rybakina beat Jelena Ostapenko 6-2 6-4 to reach her third WTA 1000 final this year. 


Rybakina came back from 1-4 down in the second set to clinch the win after 1 hour and 33 minutes. 

Rybakina has moved up to world number 5 for her first time in her career after reaching the final in Rome. Earlier this year she won the title in Indian Wells and reached two finals at the Australian Open and Miami. 

Ostapenko came into the semifinal with a 2-1 lead in her three previous head-to-head maches against Rybakina with her wins in Linz 2019 and Eastbourne 2021. Before the Rome semifinal Rybakina beat Ostapenko only once at last January’s Australian Open. 

Rybakina broke twice to race out to a 4-1 lead in the first set and held on her next service games to win the first set 6-2 with her fifth ace after 43 minutes. 

Ostapenko hit a forehand return winner to earn her first break for 2-0 lead. The Latvian player fended off a break point to open up a 4-1 lead. 

The match was suspended by rain before Ostapenko went down 4-2 15-40 on her serve before  a longer rain delay. When the match resumed, Ostapenko won won just four points in the next games. Rybakina won five  games from 1-4 down with two breaks of serve to seal the second set 6-4.

“I did not start that well in the second set. A bit low in energy. Lpst my serve. So it was difficult. Then a few good shots from her, good serves. It changed very quick”, said Rybakina.  

Rybakina set up a final against Anhelina Kalinina, who reached her first WTA 1000 final of her career with  a 7-5 5-7 6-2 win over Veronika Kudemertova after 2 hours and 51 minutes. 

Kalinina is projected to make her top 25 debut. The Ukrainian player lost to Yulia Putintseva 6-4 6-0 in her only previous final in Budapest in 2021.

Kalinina has become the second best Ukrainian player to reach a WTA 1000 final following Elina Svitolina, who won two titles in the Italian capital. 

Kalinina fended off the first eight break points she faced in the first set to take a 5-3 lead. Kalinina was not able to serve out at 5-4, but she broke serve with two backhands to take  a 6-5 lead. Kalinina forced a long return on her third set point to seal the first set after 66 minutes. 

Kalinina served for the match at 5-3 in the second set. Kudemertova won 16 consecutive points, breaking twice at love to seal the second set 7-5. 

Kalinina raced out to a 4-0 lead with two breaks and held on her two final games to seal the third set 6-2.

Kalinina won 91% of her first serve points and never faced a break point. 

“I won the first set 7-5, then I lost a little bit maybe concentration. Also too much nerves because I was serving for the match. Yhis is my first WTA 1000 semifinal. I was trying to turn off the emotions, but it’s very tough when you are playing such tough matches”, said Kalinina. 

Earlier this week Kalinina beat Sofia Kenin in the third round before earning three three set wins over Madison Keys, Beatriz Haddad Maia and Veronika Kudemertova in three sets. Her win against Haddad Maia was the longest match of the season. It lasted 3  hours and 41 minutes. 

Kalinina beat Rybakina 4-6 6-2 6-4 in their only previous head-to-head matches in Charleston last year. 

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Hamad Medjedovic moves to 2-0 in Red Group at the Next Gen Finals in Jeddah



Hamad Medjedovic edged past Luca Van Assche 4-2 2-4 4-3 (9-7) 4-1 to move to 2-0 In Red Group at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah one day after winning a marathon five-set match against Alex Michelsen. 


Medjedovic broke serve in the third game of the opening set to take a 2-1 lead. He held serve and saved two break points in the sixth game to close out the first set 4-2. 

Van Assche saved three break points at 2-2 before breaking serve in the sixth game  with a running forehand pass to seal the second set 4-2. 

Medjedovic earned a break point in the first game of the third set, when Van Assche made a double fault. Van Assche saved them to hold on his serve. Both players held on serve en route to a tie-break. Van Assche raced out to a 5-1 lead. Medjedovic won three consecutive points to claw his way back to 4-5. Van Assche earned three set points at 6-4, 6-5 and 7-6, but Medjedovic won the final three points to win the tie-break 9-7. 

Medjedovic left the court for nine minutes for a bathroom break. 

Medjedovic broke serve in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. When he was serving out the match, he saved three break points as he closed out the win with two unreturned serves. 

“For sure the tie-break changed a lot of things in this match. He had three set points. I stayed focused on the important points. I was consistent, hitting the ball hard, and I am glad that I won the tie-break”, said Medjedovic. 

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Abdullah Shelbayh upsets Alex Michelsen to win his first win at the Next Gen Finals in Jeddah



Jordan’s wild card Abdullah Shelbayh beat world number 97 Alex Michelsen 4-2 1-4 4-0 4-0 to clinch his fourth top 100 win. Shelbayh moves to 1-1 in Red Group. 


Shelbayh hit 26 winners, including seven aces. The Asian player will face Serbia’s Hamad Medjedovic in his third round robin match. 

Shelbayh earned the first break in the third game of the opening set to take a 2-1 lead. The wild card held his next two service games at 30 to close out the first set 4-2. 

Michelsen, who reached the ATP 250 final in Newport last summer, broke in the second game of the second set to take a 2-0 lead, when Shelbayh made a backhand error. 

Michelsen earned a break point in the first game of the third set, but Shelbayh saved it with an ace. The Jordanan player held serve before breaking serve to close out the third set 4-0. Shelbayh won four consecutive games with two breaks of serve to win the fourth set 4-0. 

“Having the opportunity to play here now to finish here, I could not ask for a better end to the year. I appreciate all the support throughout the week that I have been receiving already, throughout the year and from the Arab world especially. It makes me happy to represent my country. There is some pressure but you feel like it’s good pressure to have on you shoulders when you are representing your country and the region you come from”,said Shelbayh. 

Shelbayh improved his ATP ranking from world 470 to 185. His tennis idol is Rafael Nadal. Shelbayh has trained at the Rafa Nadal for more than five years. Toni Nadal flew to Jordan when Shelbayh was 13 years old to recruit him to train at the Rafa Nadal Academy. He became the first Jordanan player to win a main-draw ATP Tour match last April against Elias Ymer in Banja Luka. 

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Arthur Fils eases past Flavio Cobolli to move to 2-0 at the Next Gen Finals in Jeddah



World number 36 Arthur Fils eased past Flavio Cobolli 4-1 4-2 4-2 in 59 minutes to move to 2-0 in Green Group at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah. Fils won 72% of his first service points and fired five aces. 


Fils saved a break point in the first game on the deciding point. The Frenchman broke serve in the second game and rallied from 0-30 down to hold serve in the third game. 

Fils served out the first set 4-1 with a hold at love. 

Cobolli made a double fault at 30-30 in the first game of the second set, but Fils broke serve when Cobolli hit his backhand into the net. 

Cobolli saved a break point with an ace on the deciding point in the third game. Fils won his next two service games with ease to seal the second set 4-2. The Frenchman dropped two points on serve in the second set.

Fils earned an early break in the first game of the third set. Cobolli broke straight back to draw level to 1-1. Fils broke for the second time at love in the third game with a backhand down the line return winner and sealed the win on his second match point. 

Fils, who beat Luca Nardi in five sets in his opening match, will face Dominic Stricker in his third round-robin match. 

“I played very nice today. I served very good, and I was moving well on the court, so I am very happy with it. Tomorrow I have a good match against a great opponent. He already beat me once this year, so let’s what I can do”, said Arthur Fils. 

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