"I prefer to play on hard courts than clay": Elena Rybakina makes admission despite recent clay court excellence

Friday, 26 April 2024 at 22:30
Elena Rybakina revealed her preference for hard courts over clay surfaces, yet she debuted successfully in the Madrid Open, defeating Lucia Bronzetti 6-4, 6-3 to advance to the next round. Despite her inclination towards hard courts, Rybakina boasts an impressive 5-0 record on clay this season.
Just a week prior, the 2022 Wimbledon champion clinched the title at the WTA 500 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. In a remarkable run, she defeated the world No. 1 Iga Swiatek in the semifinals and triumphed over Marta Kostyuk in the final.

Rybakina's success transcends surface preference

Rybakina has been enjoying a stellar season, amassing a 27-4 record since the beginning of the year, matching Swiatek's lead in victories. With three titles already under her belt this year—Brisbane International, Abu Dhabi Open, and Stuttgart—alongside runner-up finishes in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships and Miami Open, Rybakina has been a force to reckon with.
Rybakina won her third clay court title in Stuttgart last week
Reflecting on her success in Madrid, Rybakina acknowledged the challenges of transitioning to clay courts, stating, "I prefer to play on hard courts than clay, but clay season is short & I have to do my best." She highlighted the unique characteristics of the Madrid Open, emphasizing the need to adapt to the altitude and the pace of play.
Despite her previous performances, Rybakina remains optimistic about her prospects in Madrid, aiming to surpass her previous best of reaching the round of 16. Her next challenge awaits against the Egyptian Mayar Sherif, who recently upset the 25th seed Marta Kostyuk, a finalist in Stuttgart just a week ago.

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