Elena Rybakina downs Paula Badosa in instant classic
Elena Rybakina came back from a set down to take her winning streak into double figures with a 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 win over Paula Badosa.
The Indian Wells champion had to find a way back into the match to keep her hopes of completing the Sunshine double alive.
After a dominant run to the Indian Wells title Rybakina has been tested in Miami with both her matches going to three sets.
Badosa came into the match with a 4-2 lead in their head-to-head but the bulk of their meetings came prior to Rybakina’s ascension to the elite group of players.
It was Badosa who had the more solid start as Rybakina was plagued by errors and inaccuracy.
Rybakina’s second serve proved particularly easy for Badosa to pounce on and she secured four breaks in the opening set.
However, Rybakina’s newfound confidence came flooding back as she turned the tide in a hard-fought second set.
Despite the second set going to serve, Rybakina found herself down a match point on her own delivery at 5-4 and 30-40 in the second set.
That close shave appeared to spark the Wimbledon champion into life, she broke Badosa in the next game before serving out the set.
Rybakina made her power and shotmaking tell in this match, slamming an incredible 60 winners while Badosa managed just 16.
In the final set it always seemed as though Rybakina had the momentum and though they were level at 3-3 once the world No 7 could see the finish line there was no stopping her as she rattled off the three games needed to secure a place in the Round of 16.
“It didn’t start well in the first set but in the end I just found some energy,” Rybakina said.
“I was trying to push more on the serve and started to move better on the court.”
“It was a really tough battle. I was trying to focus on every point because the first set didn’t go my way, but it was just a few mistakes here and there. Overall, I played well. Paula was serving well. Just happy that I was able to manage in three sets.”
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Round of 32 results Saturday
Martina Trevisan (ITA x25) bt Claire Liu (USA) 4-6, 7-5, 6-4
Jelena Ostapenko (LAT x24) bt Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA x13) 6-2, 4-6, 6-3
Elena Rybakina (KAZ x10) bt Paula Badosa (ESP x21) 3-6, 7-5, 6-3
Elise Mertens (BEL) bt Petra Martic (CRO x29) 6-4, 6-3
Jessica Pegula (USA x3) bt Danielle Collins (USA x30) 6-1, 7-6 (7/0)
Magda Linette (POL x20) bt Victoria Azarenka (BLR x14) 7-6 (7/3), 2-6, 6-4
Zheng Qinwen (CHN x23) bt Liudmila Samsonova (RUS x12) 5-7, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3
Anastasia Potapova (RUS x27) bt Coco Gauff (USA x6) 6-7 (8/10), 7-5, 6-2
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