WTA

Rybakina wins 12th straight to reach Miami Open semi-finals, Pegula beats Potapova

By Sports Desk March 29, 2023

Elena Rybakina is now two wins away from completing the rare 'Sunshine Double' after defeating Martina Trevisan 6-3 6-0 to reach the Miami Open semi-finals on Tuesday.

Only four women have ever claimed the Sunshine Double – which requires winning both the Indian Wells Open and Miami Open. Steffi Graf did it in both 1994 and 1996, Kim Clijsters did it in 2005, Victoria Azarenka accomplished the feat in 2016 and current world number one Iga Swiatek did it just 12 months ago.

Rybakina knocked off Swiatek and world number two Aryna Sabalenka in consecutive matches en route to the Indian Wells title, and she has now extended her winning streak to 12 with Tuesday's victory. Against Trevisan, Rybakina served another 10 aces compared to zero from the Italian.

In her fourth-round match the Kazakhstan representative became the first WTA player this season to post three consecutive matches with at least 10 aces, and with another she became the first woman since Serena Williams at the 2020 US Open to do so in four consecutive matches at the same tournament.

She needed just 27 minutes to race through the second set, and in the process she booked a semi-final against third seed Jessica Pegula.

America's top hope, Pegula had to come from behind against Russia's Anastasia Potapova in the 4-6 6-3 7-6 (7-2) result, saving two match points in the deciding set to force the pivotal tiebreaker.

The match was delayed for hours due to persistent rain, and the contest lasted two hours and 38 minutes, meaning they did not finish up on court until nearly 1:30am local time.

While consistently making it deep into major tournaments, Pegula only has two WTA singles titles to her name, and only once since the end of 2019. 

With one more win she can book her spot in the final, and a chance to claim her second WTA 1000 crown after breaking through at the 2022 Guadalajara Open.

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