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Strasbourg 2020 final: Elina Svitolina vs Elena Rybakina preview, head-to-head & prediction

Elina Svitolina
Elina Svitolina
Rudra Biswas
Modified 26 Sep 2020, 00:29 IST

Match details

Fixture: Elina Svitolina vs Elena Rybakina

Date: 26 September 2020

Tournament: Internationaux de Strasbourg 2020

Round: Final

Venue: Strasbourg, France

Category: WTA International

Surface: Red clay

Prize money: €225,500


Match timing: 11 am CEST, 2.30 pm IST

Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel

Elina Svitolina vs Elena Rybakina preview

Elina Svitolina hits a backhand
Elina Svitolina hits a backhand

World No. 5 Elina Svitolina will be looking to round off a fine week in Strasbourg with the trophy, when she takes on World No. 18 Elena Rybakina in the championship match on Saturday.

After a shock loss to Marketa Vondrousova in the quarterfinals of the Italian Open last week, Svitolina has shown great resolve to bounce back quickly in Strasbourg. The Ukrainian fought past Magda Linette in her Round of 16 match, and then registered a comfortable win over Switzerland's Jil Teichmann in the quarterfinals.

In her semifinal match against World No. 12 Aryna Sabalenka, Svitolina weathered some heavy hitting from the Belarusian before edging past her in three sets.

World No. 18 Elena Rybakina, on the other hand, has been her usual calm self throughout the week. The 21-year-old returned to the European clay swing following a slow restart to the season, where she lost in the second round of the US Open, but the Kazakh is well and truly back in form now.

Elena Rybakina plays a forehand
Elena Rybakina plays a forehand

Building on a decent result at the Italian Open, Rybakina stormed into the last four at Strasbourg with an emphatic straight-sets victory over China's Shuai Zhang. In the semifinals, the youngster defeated Japan's Nao Hibino by putting up a magnificent display of effortless power.

Rybakina is now into her fourth final on the WTA tour this year, and she would be very keen to lift the trophy just before the start of Roland Garros.

Elina Svitolina vs Elena Rybakina head-to-head

The final in Strasbourg will be the first-ever career meeting between Elina Svitolina and Elena Rybakina, so the head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.

Elina Svitolina vs Elena Rybakina prediction

Elena Rybakina will attempt to win a third WTA title on Saturday
Elena Rybakina will attempt to win a third WTA title on Saturday

Elina Svitolina has been suffering from service niggles ever since the WTA Tour resumed post-lockdown, at times struggling to even get 50% of her first serves in. In the absence of a consistent serve, Svitolina has had to work doubly hard during the rallies and constantly look to turn defense into offense, as we saw her do in her close semifinal win over Aryna Sabalenka.

Svitolina doesn't possess the kind of firepower that her next opponent Elena Rybakina does, so the Ukrainian will have to do more of the same on Saturday. Rybakina has an aggressive baseline game and likes to finish points quickly even on clay, which means Svitolina will likely spend much of her time on the defensive.

The Kazakh youngster does have a tendency to cough up a few unforced errors, and that could keep Svitolina in the hunt. But if the Ukrainian is too defensive in her approach, she might find herself blown off the court by Rybakina's first-strike hitting and variety.

Prediction: Elena Rybakina to win in three sets.

Published 26 Sep 2020, 00:29 IST
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