Elena Rybakina rates her chances against Iga Swiatek, who is ‘physically one of the best’
The last time Elena Rybakina took on Iga Swiatek she brushed aside world No 1 with a clinical display and Wimbledon champion admits she will once again need to be aggressive when she takes on the Pole at the Indian Wells Open.
Rybakina and Swiatek met in the fourth round of this year’s Australian Open and, although the latter was the clear favourite heading into the match, it was the former who emerged with a 6-4, 6-4 victory to draw level at 1-1 in their head-to-head rivalry.
The pair will meet again on Friday as they will play in the semi-final in California.
Rybakina booked her place in the last four with a battling 7-6 (7-4), 2-6, 6-4 win over Karolina Muchova while Swiatek advanced with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Sorana Cirstea.
World No 10 Rybakina, though, knows she is in for a tough challenge in California.
“For sure it’s gonna be different than in Australia. Before match in Australia, we played also many times. For sure it’s gonna be tough match,” she said.
“I would say there is things, of course, which I’m doing like with opponent, preparing for each opponent, but overall my game is to be aggressive. As I said, here it’s not easy, but I still have to stick to this game plan, and then try to prepare, to think also with my coaches what we can do here.”
When asked about what challenges she will face when she takes on the three-time Grand Slam winner, Rybakina admitted that she will need to be at her best physically.
“I would say that for sure Iga, she’s a big fighter, she moves really well on court. I think physically she’s one of the best for now,” the Kazakh player said. “It’s not easy against her, because you feel that every point is gonna be tough. She’s very consistent also.
“In Australia I just know that when I went to play against her, I had really nothing to lose. She’s No 1 and kind of pressure on her in that moment.
“I knew the game plan, I knew how I have to play, and in the end, I did well. So we see how it’s gonna go tomorrow, but I think I have chances, of course, if I’m physically ready. We’ll see.”
Swiatek knows she needs to be at her best as well.
“She’s playing really well and in semi-finals you always are going to play against the top players, so I’ll be ready,” the top seed said.
“Last time we played was in Australia. Totally different conditions. So I’ll just prepare the same as before any other match and I’ll do 100 per cent.”
Mats Wilander recently admitted that players with a certain style are always going to trouble Swiatek and Rybakina is one of them.
“It’s just clear there’s a style of player that she will have to look out for on certain speed hard courts, and those players are very consistent and hit the ball very hard from both sides. That’s her worry,” he said.
ATP chief warns against ‘civil war’ in tennis amid radical breakaway tour rumours
Rumours of a breakaway tennis tour that would feature all four Grand Slam events have been circulating in recent months.
Nick Kyrgios joins Only Fans and promises to reveal ‘intimate side’ of his life
Kyrgios will not be displaying the most private parts of his relationship with his girlfriend Costeen Hatzi on his Only Fans page.
Rafael Nadal makes candid confession as he addresses whether 2024 will be his final season
Rafael Nadal has spoken openly about how much longer he is likely to keep playing.
How Novak Djokovic stepped to the next level by building his perfect tennis shoe
Djokovic saluted ASICS innovator Rene Zandbergen at a pre-Wimbledon event attended by Tennis365 last summer.
Jack Draper reveals Alzheimer’s disease has had a ‘cruel’ impact on one of his biggest tennis inspirations
Draper is working with Alzheimer’s Society in the UK and is hoping to raise awareness of what he describes as a ‘cruel’ condition.
Toni Nadal makes Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz admission as he assesses Rafael Nadal hopes
Toni Nadal has discussed his nephew’s chances of winning another French Open title.
Top coach explains how Jannik Sinner could replicate Novak Djokovic in big 2024 claim
Jannik Sinner has been backed to have a huge 2024 season and mirror something Novak Djokovic achieved.
Carlos Alcaraz reveals player who remains his idol as he names Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer as inspirations
Carlos Alcaraz has cited both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer as inspirations, but one legend is still his hero.
Novak Djokovic approach hailed in Serena Williams comparison by American great’s former coach
Novak Djokovic has been likened to his fellow tennis legend Serena Williams in his approach to the sport.
Emma Raducanu finally confirms when she will make her comeback in 2024
The 21-year-old has not played a match since in April, but she will be back in action next month.