Elena Rybakina Saves Match Points to Reach Madrid Open Semifinals

In a thrilling Madrid Open quarterfinal, 4th seed Rybakina rallied from the brink to defeat compatriot Putintseva, saving 2 match points and showcasing her mental toughness en route to the semifinals.

Salman Akhtar
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Elena Rybakina Saves Match Points to Reach Madrid Open Semifinals

Elena Rybakina Saves Match Points to Reach Madrid Open Semifinals

In a thrilling quarterfinal match at the 2024 Madrid Open, fourth seed Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan battled back from the brink of defeat to overcome compatriot Yulia Putintseva 4-6, 7-6 (7/4), 7-5 and rallies to make Madrid semifinals. Rybakina saved two match points to escape in Madrid quarters at 2-5 down in the deciding set before staging a remarkable comeback to secure the victory in 2 hours and 48 minutes.

Despite struggling with her break point opportunities and Putintseva's crafty drop shots, Rybakina produced key serves to swat away the two match points to beat Putintseva in Madrid Open quarter-finals and broke Putintseva as she was serving for the victory at 5-3. A late-match collapse from Putintseva, who smashed her racquet in frustration, helped Rybakina turn the match around and advance to her sixth semifinal of the season.

Why this matters: Rybakina's comeback victory highlights her mental toughness and resilience on the court. As a top player and former Wimbledon champion, her ability to fight back from difficult situations makes her a formidable opponent and contender for the Madrid Open title.

This was Rybakina's first win against Putintseva, who had won their previous two encounters. With this victory, Rybakina extended her winning streak to 16 matches on clay and improved her tour-leading record to 30 wins this season. She has also been successful in her last 12 deciding sets in 2024.

Rybakina will face either defending champion Aryna Sabalenka or 17-year-old sensation Mirra Andreeva in the semifinals on Thursday. The Kazakh star said it was a "really tough match" and that she had to "leave all the emotions and frustrations behind" to keep playing and eventually secure the victory. Rybakina's ability to dig deep and save Match Points under pressure has been a key factor in her success this season as she aims to reach her sixth final of the year in Madrid, scoring her first win over Putintseva.

Key Takeaways

  • Rybakina rallied from 2-5 down in 3rd set to beat Putintseva 4-6, 7-6(4), 7-5.
  • Rybakina saved 2 match points to advance to Madrid Open semifinals.
  • This was Rybakina's 1st win against Putintseva, extending her 16-match clay win streak.
  • Rybakina will face Sabalenka or Andreeva in the semifinals on Thursday.
  • Rybakina's mental toughness and ability to fight back under pressure have been key to her success.