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Elena Rybakina Repels Bianca Andreescu in Dubai Opener

In a clash of Grand Slam champions, Wimbledon winner Elena Rybakina defeated former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu. Photo credit: Getty for Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships

In a clash of Grand Slam champions, Elena Rybakina imposed the last word.

Wimbledon winner Rybakina broke serve four times in a 6-3, 6-4 victory over 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships today.

“I’m happy that I managed to win with a few ups and downs in the second set,” said former Dubai finalist Rybakina. “I had to focus, so overall I am happy that I managed to win.

“I want to win every match I play on court. I’m trying to do the work with my team to improve every match.”

In the day’s penultimate match on Centre Court, defending champion Jelena Ostapenko stormed past Ukrainian Katarina Zavatska without surrendering a breakpoint in a routine 6-1, 6-4 win.

The former French Open champion said she’s fired up to return to Dubai and try to defend her title.

“It’s great to be back here, I played some amazing tennis last year and I enjoy playing in Dubai,” Ostapenko said. “I love the tournament and the city. The crowd is amazing and I’m enjoying my tennis.” 

Elsewhere in the women’s Round of 64, two-time Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka, the 15th seed in Dubai, dug deep to dispatch Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-3, 7-5.

In an all-American match, South Carolina’s Shelby Rogers defeated compatriot Claire Liu 6-4, 6-4 on Court 1.

Liu, who entered the draw as a lucky loser following the withdrawal of 16th seed Ekaterina Alexandrova on Sunday evening, could not compete with Rogers’ consistent baseline play.