Compatriots Elena and Yulia will face each other in Italian Open
Elena Rybakina and Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan will go head to head in the third round of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome.
In the second-round match world number 30 Putintseva ousted Croatian Petra Martic 6-3, 6-7, 6-4. The three-set thriller lasted for 3 hours. It was looking all set for an easy win for the 25-year-old as she led 6-3, 5-1 at one point. She however failed to serve out the match and eventually went on to drop the set in a tiebreak.
Putintseva recovered quickly from this lapse and won the deciding set 6-4 to close out the match.
On the other hand, Elena Rybakina, world number 18 eliminated Czech Marie Bouzkova in straight sets 7-5, 7-6 (3) in her second-round match. Elena overturned an early deficit to win the first set 7-5, and had to dig deep once again in the second set before winning it in a tiebreak.
Elena seemed to be one of the most exciting young players to watch at the start of 2020. The 21-year-old was fifth on the Race to Shenzhen leaderboard before the tour was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Round of 16 match in Rome will be the first ever career meeting between the two Russian-born Kazakh players, which should be a nail biting contest.