Tennis | Rome 2023 | Elena Rybakina searches for second title in 2023 against Kalinina

By Tony Fairbairn

  • Elena Rybakina [7] v Anhelina Kalinina [30]
  • H2H: Kalinina leads 1-0
ROME, ITALY – Elena Rybakina is searching for her second title of the season as she takes on Anhelina Kalinina for the Rome title.


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Elena Rybakina [7] v Anhelina Kalinina [30]  H2H & Match Fundamentals

After reaching the Australian Open final and winning Indian Wells on hard courts as well as winning the Wimbledon title last year on grass courts, Elena Rybakina has now proved that she can dominate on all surfaces having reached the final in Rome. Rybakina is into her third WTA 1000 final of the season and playing some sizzling tennis as she looks to establish herself as a Roland Garros contender heading into Paris. Rybakina will now play Ukrainian Anhelina Kalinina in the final who has a dream run to the final as she won her second consecutive three hour match to reach the showpiece event in the Italian capital.

Elena Rybakina [7] v Anhelina Kalinina [30] H2H: Kalinina leads 1-0
Rome 2023 Rome, Italy
Clay (O) Prize Money: €272,200/€521,754
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Rybakina has had the more efficient route after benefitting from a couple or retirements and winning in straight sets while Kalinina has had to take the much harder route towards the end of the tournament.

Elena Rybakina [7] route to the final

Embed from Getty Images

  • R2: Jasmine Paolini 7-6(4) 6-1
  • R3: Anna Kalinskaya 4-3 RET
  • R4: Marketa Vondrousova 6-3 6-3
  • QF: Iga Swiatek [1] 2-6 7-6(3) 2-2 RET
  • SF: Jelena Ostapenko [20] 6-2 6-4


Anhelina Kalinina [30] route to the final

Embed from Getty Images

  • R2: Anna Blinkova 6-2 6-2
  • R3: Sofia Kenin 6-4 6-2
  • R4: Madison Keys [19] 2-6 6-2 6-4
  • QF: Beatriz Haddad Maia [12] 6-7(2) 7-6(6) 6-3
  • SF: Veronika Kudermetova [11] 7-5 5-7 6-2


Tale of the Tape – Key Stats (2023)

H2H: Elena Rybakina (WR 6) Anhelina Kalinina (WR 47)
Tournament Previous Best R3 (2020, 2022) R2 (2022)
1st Serve Return Points Won % 34.6 37.9
Return Points Won % 42.4 45.7
Break Point Conversion % 41.4 47.9
Break Point Saved % 65 58.6
Total Points Won % 52.8 51.3

Rybakina will need to be aware of Kalinina’s consistent efficiency on return as the Kazakh continues to dominate on serve.



Playing Styles and Prediction

Rybakina has proven that she can play on all surfaces after reaching her fourth final of the season and her fifth big final over the last 12 months on three different surfaces. After rediscovering her clay court form Rybakina looks to win her second title of the season and establish herself as a Roland Garros favourite.

Speaking after her win over Jelena Ostapenko, Rybakina spoke about the rainy conditions in Rome and previewed her match against Kalinina.

“I came without any expectation because I knew the other years were really tough for me coming and play here,” Rybakina told the WTA website.

“Maybe for some people, rain is not good. I guess for my allergies it went the other way. It’s helping me a bit to feel better here. I’m just happy that I got so many matches now before French Open.

“Actually she used to work with my coach. We just have a good relationship. I’m always cheering for her also. Same, whenever I win, she’s always supporting. We have a good relationship. I’m happy that we’re going to play a final.”

In the final Rybakina will take on Kalinina who is into her first WTA 1000 final after winning her second consecutive three hour contest. When on her game, Kalinina’s crafty baseline game can cause trouble for any player and will look to prove that once again in the final as she looks to make her top 20 debut.

After her win over Veronika Kudermetova, Kalinina spoke about giving hope to her home country Ukraine which is still going through war at the moment.

“It’s really important to win every match, because of what Ukraine goes through,” Kalinina told the WTA website.

“I really hope that I give a tiny, small light, maybe some positive emotions for my country. I really hope that Ukraine a little bit enjoys [this]. I don’t remember where I was playing [but] almost for me it was like the whole stadium was cheering me up. It’s kind of amazing feeling. I have never experienced something like that. They bring so much energy to fight when you don’t even have energy to do that.

“From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank every person who was in the stadium from the first match till hopefully tomorrow I will have another match. Thanks for them. They kind of motivated me and they give me much more energy to fight.”

Rybakina is looking to continue to dominate on serve and use her big forehand to neutralise the defensive skills of Kalinina. Meanwhile the Ukrainian will look to be consistent on return and continue to grind from the baseline as she looks to be efficient on return especially on second serves.

Kalinina will look to make a quick start and hope that she has enough energy to counter-attack Rybakina’s power both from a mental and physical perspective. However Rybakina should overcome a quick start from Kalinina and her consistent power may prove too much for the resilient Ukrainian.

Prediction: Rybakina in three sets.



How to Watch/Follow Rome 2023

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