Rybakina continues winning ways, beats Cirstea in Doha

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black friday 2021

Coming straight from her fourth final of the season in Dubai, Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina won her first meeting with Sorana Cirstea 3-6 6-3 6-1 in the first round of the Qatar Total Open in Doha to increase her tour-leading 2020 win-loss record to 20-4.

On her first visit to Doha, the 14th-seeded Rybakina didn’t have much time to get accustomed to the new environment and wildcard Cirstea twice went a break up in the opening set before sealing it with the third break. Playing on a career high ranking of No.17, Rybakina overcame a lost 3-1 lead in the second set to force a deciding set which she opened by winning the first nine points and eventually closed it without dropping serve.

The 20-year-old Rybakina came to Doha with a tour-leading record of 134 aces this year and today she improved that number to 141. Moreover, the Kazakh has won most three-set matches this year, owning a 8-1 record after today’s victory over Cirstea, who was bidding for first Top 20 win since last year’s claycourt season.

It was an action-packed day at the Qatar Total Open, but the most notable results are Amanda Anisimova‘s upset of fifth seed Elina Svitolina 6-3 6-3 in the second round, as well as the following first-round matches: Iga Swiatek‘s elimination of seed No.17 Donna Vekic 6-4 7-5, Jennifer Brady‘s 7-6(10) 1-6 7-6(3) triumph over fellow American Alison Riske, Barbora Strycova‘s upset of tenth seed Petra Martic 4-6 6-1 6-2, and Zheng Saisai‘s win over seed No.12 Marketa Vondrousova 1-6 6-3 6-2.

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