No.5 seed Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan marched into the quarterfinals of the Internationaux de Strasbourg on Tuesday, fighting through a closely-contested second set before, ousting the 2013 champion Alizé Cornet of France, 6-3, 7-6(8).
After a perfect start to the year, where she won the title in Hobart and reached finals at three other tournaments, World No.18 Elena Rybakina had yet to reach a quarterfinal in her first three events since the resumption of tournaments which were stalled due to covid-19 pandemic. But Rybakina found her winning touch back , moving into the elite eight with her win over homeland hope Cornet.
“I was just focusing on every point, because it’s not the first time I’m actually up [in the score],” Rybakina told the press, after the match. “Last tournament in Rome, I was up, for example, and my concentration went down. I just knew that I had to focus on every point. It doesn’t matter, the score, just work every point and try to do my best.”
Still, it took a lot of effort to manage Tuesday’s win, as Rybakina held match points at 5-3 and then at 5-4 in the second set before Cornet charged back. Cornet , had her chances having two set points in the second set, one at 6-5 and one in the tiebreak, before Rybakina fought her way back from 2-5 down in the breaker to garner the straight-set victory.
Thus, Rybakina improved her head-to-head record against World No.52 Cornet to 2-0 with her one-hour and 49-minute victory.
Up next Rybakina will face former Top 25 player Zhang Shuai of China in the quarterfinals.
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