WATCH: Elena Rybakina ups the aggression to beat Jessica Pegula and stay on course for Sunshine Double

Elena Rybakina returning

Elena Rybakina came through two tough setters to get the better of Jessica Pegula at the Miami Open to take her winning streak to 13 and keep her hopes of winning the Sunshine Double alive.

Wimbledon champion Rybakina had to work for victory in the rain-disrupted semi-final in Florida as the match had 11 breaks of serve, but ultimately it was the in-form Kazakh player who came away with the 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 win in just under two hours.

Pegula was in charge early on as she broke in the opening game, but the 10th seed drew level in game four only for the American to edge ahead again in the next game. The set ended with three consecutive breaks with Rybakina breaking twice to take it to a tie-breaker, which she edged.

After saving three break points, Pegula again had the early advantage with a break in game two of the second set, but the pair were back on serve midway through the set. The crucial break came in game nine and Rybakina then served it out.

“I think that I started being a bit more aggressive because I knew that if it’s going to go to the third set, it’s going to be much more difficult, so I maybe risked a bit more in the end of the second set,” the world No 7 said.

She added: “It’s really difficult because of different conditions and these two weeks by the matches, you will see that it’s been much more difficult for me here than in Indian Wells, but for the Sunshine Double, I am going to give it my best and hopefully I can make it.”

Rybakina will face either 15th seed Petra Kvitova or Sorana Cirstea in the final. Kvitova completed her quarter-final against Ekaterina Alexandrova on Thursday, winning 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

“It is nice there is also someone else over 30 also playing so nice. It’s fun. I’m happy for Sorana, how she’s playing for with the run she has had. Definitely will be nice to face her again,” the former world No 1 said.

If Rybakina does go on to win the title then she will become only the fifth woman to win the Indian Wells Open and Miami Open in the same year with Steffi Graf (1994, 1996), Kim Clijsters (2005), Victoria Azarenka (2016) and Iga Swiatek (2022) the only players on the list so far.