Elena Rybakina‘s spectacular 2020 season continues to thrive, as the Kazakh 20-year-old has improved to 4-0 in semifinal matches this year by beating eighth seed Petra Martic to reach the final at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
The world No.15 Martic was the only semifinalist to not drop a set this week and the Croat was up a break in both sets against Rybakina, but the world No.19 recovered each time to win the sets in tiebreaks, saving a set point in both sets to advance to the title match on her tournament debut.
In the first set, Martic established a 3-1 lead, but Rybakina leveled in the tenth game and then edged the tiebreak, while in the second set she rallied from 0-3 to again force a tiebreak and cruise through it en route to a 7-6(5) 7-6(2) victory.
Fresh Top 20 member Rybakina, ranked world No.192 this time last year, is the leader in the number of aces on the WTA Tour this year with 132 aces through 22 matches, including 28 this week. The in-form Kazakh will next face the winner of top seed Simona Halep, who cruised past qualifier Jennifer Brady.