Elena Rybakina advances to third round in French Open

The fourth seed Rybakina beat Noskova by 6-3, 6-3

By Web Desk
June 01, 2023
Elena Rybakina in action during her contest against Linda Noskova during the French Open - AP

Kazakhstan's Elena Rybakina beat aspiring Czech teenager Linda Noskova to advance to the third round in French Open. 

The fourth seed Rybakina beat Noskova by 6-3, 6-3 to put herself forward as a frontline runner for the title. 

Rybakina, the Wimbledon champion, who also reached this year's Australian Open final, also looked at ease on clay despite her game. 

"I think that, first of all, my first WTA win (in 2019) was on clay, so from that point I thought I actually can play on clay," Rybakina told reporters after the match.

"I think it depends where, the conditions, how is the weather, balls. Even here it's quite different from Rome, the tournament I just won."

"But I think that I can play good. Just with experience over the years and matches I can get just better and better (on clay)," the Kazakh said.

She did not take long to pull away with a break in the third game when Noskova, ranked 50th, fired a backhand into the net.

But the 18-year-old, no stranger to the Paris clay after winning the French Open junior title two years ago, refused to go down without a fight and paid the price for some risky tactics and a double fault on her serve at 40-40 and 5-3 down.

Rybakina, a member of the new 'Big three' along with fellow title contenders, world number one Iga Swiatek and second seed Aryna Sabalenka, struggled with Noskova's powerful serve and thundering forehand.

"She was playing really well, especially the serve, but from my side I wasn't happy so much with the percentage of the serve," Rybakina said. "A lot of mistakes."

- Additional input from Reuters