RYBAKINA – KALININA
Probably nobody could predict this final one week ago, but here we have it. Rybakina is an usual contender on this final stage with a year 2023 which is brilliant at the moment. The former Wimbledon 2022 champion began this year with a final in Australia, and then she claimed the title in Indian Wells and confirmed her good moment of form with another final here in Rome. Her aggressive game is effective in a court that is usually positive for more defensive players, but the Kazakh is adapting her aggressive game to these slow courts with a powerful serve and a big patience to build the point with her powerful shots. She didn’t drop a set yet, but won 2 matches by retirements of her opponents, so it helped to arrive at the last match with a very good physical condition and in a very good level of play.
Nobody could imagine Kalinina as a Rome finalist, but she surprised to all with her first WTA 1000 final after defeating Kudermetova in a three set battle which could have been two but Kalinina flopped at the end of the second set. Her level during the whole tournament has been fantastic, with a very good shot selection specially with a powerful backhand and a good level of first serve. She just lost three sets on her way to the final, proving that she has grown a lot since her breakthrough during the 2022 season and showing us she can compete with players which theoretically are better than her. The Ukrainian is one of the biggest surprises of the tournament, but it shows it is WTA and the line between the top10 and the top30 is very little and all of them can reach a final round with a good week.
Rybakina has more experience at this kind of matches, but the H2H shows 1-0 to Kalinina with a Charleston defeat in three sets on her last meeting. Although of this match, now I think Rybakina is big favorite to win the title against a player who never reached this round and have to see how she will confront the biggest final of her career. For more tennis market click here and get the best tennis offers.
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