Australian Open: Rybakina feels she can be world number one after beating Swiatek

By Sports Desk January 22, 2023

Elena Rybakina believes she can become the best player in the world if she performs as she did in the first week of the Australian Open after beating Iga Swiatek.

Wimbledon champion Rybakina claimed the scalp of the top seed on Sunday, winning 6-4 6-4 on Rod Laver Arena to reach the quarter-finals.

Swiatek was in a class of her own last year, winning eight titles – including the French Open and the US Open – to firmly establish herself as the best player in the world.

The Pole was the favourite to win the Australian Open for the first time, but the 25-ranked Rybakina sent her packing to set up a showdown with Jelena Ostapenko.

Rybakina made history with her fourth-round win, becoming the first woman representing Kazakhstan to reach the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.

The 23-year-old knows she has plenty to work on, but feels she can rise to the top of the rankings if she continues to improve and consistently match the high standards she has set at Melbourne Park.

Asked if she can be the best in the world when she's at her best: "Every opponent is really tough, and for sure for me I think there are still many things to improve.

"If I perform like I did this week and consistently, I will say that I can be number one, I can beat anyone. For now, I need to find my consistency."

Rybakina felt she was rewarded for taking such a positive approach against Swiatek.

"For sure when you play against the number one player, I think you have really nothing to lose. I knew that I had to be aggressive from the first ball because she's a great mover, and she defends really well.

"So I was trying to just attack her from the first ball, and it really worked well."

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