Elena Rybakina: ‘Physically I’m not the freshest, but I’m happy that I’m managing’

Elena Rybakina takes a break

Elena Rybakina has admitted that she is feeling the effects of her winning run across the Sunshine double events at Indian Wells and Miami.

Rybakina booked her place in the quarter-finals with victory over Elise Mertens but would concede that she isn’t feeling fresh after winning her 11th match on the bounce.

She wasn’t best pleased with her game despite closing out the Round of 16 win in straight sets.

“For sure, physically I’m not the freshest, but I’m happy that I’m managing and finding my way,” said the world No 7.

“To be in the quarter-final is great, and hopefully I’m going to play better tomorrow.”

Rybakina became the first woman to beat the world No 1 and No 2 at Indian Wells.

However, she insists that she tries not to think about stats and rankings.

When informed about the record, she said: “Well, I didn’t think about this, but good stat. I don’t know what to say.

“I mean, when I come to play against anyone, I try not to think about the ranking.

“I just want to do my best. Yeah, in the end, trying to win.”

Rybakina realises that winning the Sunshine Double is an enormous task but she has set out her stall to keep on winning.

“Well, I will try to focus just on every match, because I think that it’s really tough. I know Iga did this [won the Sunshine Double]. Big respect, because I think it’s still kind of long trip to Miami. It’s completely different conditions.

“So I think that that’s the goal in the end of the day. But when I go on the court, when I’m already there, I’m just trying to practice and prepare for each match.”

The potential for another final between Rybakina and Aryna Sabalenka remains a tantalising prospect in Miami.

Rybakina believes that every meeting with Sabalenka will be a titanic struggle.

She feels that on different surfaces, the balance of power between the two will shift even from hard court to hard court.

Speaking on her expectations for another meeting, Rybakina said: “Well, I don’t know. Just because it depends also on the conditions, on the surface we play.

“But for sure every time I’m gonna play match against Aryna, it’s gonna be tough battle. I’m gonna try to prepare, depending also on the conditions. Yeah, I don’t know how it’s gonna go the next matches we play against each other, but, I mean, for sure it’s gonna be tough matches again.”

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