The 17th seed took 1 hour 34 minutes to beat 13th seed Victoria Azarenka 6-3, 6-4 in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open. "It was a tough match, but I feel really happy that I won this time," Rybakina exclaimed. “This time my serve was really impressive. That helped me a lot.”
In their first meeting, the 22-year-old was unbeaten by Azarenka, a two-time BNP Paribas Open winner after she saved the only break point opportunity she faced in the match. As a result, she became the first Kazakh woman to reach the fourth round at Indian Wells. Former world number 1 Azarenka, who won the 2012 and 2016 BNP Paribas Open, was the runner-up in the tournament after losing to Paula Badosa last season.
But this time, he was quite overwhelmed by the Kazakh, who shot five aces and won 87 percent of his first serve points. Playing under a neutral flag, Azarenka had a break point opportunity to take a 4-2 lead in the second set. But Ryabakina exterminated him. After leveling at 3-3 and coming out of the needle, the 17th seed broke her opponent's serve in the next game after the 13th seed doubled up. From that moment on, the Kazakh defended as hard as he could to clinch his second win over a top 20 player of the season and his 13th career win over a player in the rankings.
Waiting for Rybakina in the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open is the 31st seed, Victorija Golubic. In contrast to the 17th seed, the Swiss tennis player, Golubic must exert his best ability to overthrow the Italian tennis player, Jasmine Paolini 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 in 2 hours 30 minutes.
Golubic claimed four of the last five points in the third set tiebreak to advance to the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open for the first time in his career. The Kazakhstan national won the first meeting against Golubic in three sets at Nanchang in the 2019 season. "For sure, a fierce match," commented Rybakina ahead of the match against Golubic. "I have to focus on my serve, because that's really my weapon. Be physically ready and patient. It's slow here. The rallies may be longer than you think. So stay patient, try to fight and focus on every point."