Rybarikova Completes Top 3 Sweep In DC
Published August 04, 2012 12:00
WASHINGTON DC, USA - Slovakia's Magdalena Rybarikova completed a sweep of the Top 3 seeds at the Citi Open on Saturday night, rolling over No.1 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in a surprisingly lopsided final, 61 61.
The unseeded Rybarikova had beaten No.2 seed Chanelle Scheepers and No.3 seed Sloane Stephens earlier in the week, in fact she didn't even lose a set all week - the closest she came to losing one was against Eleni Daniilidou in the second round, rallying from 5-2 down in the second set to win, 63 75.
But the Slovak's 65-minute win over Pavlyuchenkova was her most impressive win of the week, her serving particularly impressive - she won 95% of her first serve points (20 of 21) and only faced one break point in the match (saving it).
"I was just thinking all the time to stay relaxed and play my game, and I think I played very well today," Rybarikova said. "I was trying not to think about this being a final, and I was also trying not to think about playing such a good player. I was very relaxed - if I'm not relaxed, it's tough to play my game.
"My confidence was lower when I came here and I didn't expect I'd win the title, but I was very relaxed when I came here and I played very well all week."
Rybarikova collected her third WTA title, her first two coming on the grass of Birmingham in 2009 and the indoor hardcourts of Memphis in 2011. She is now 3-1 in finals, the only loss coming at Guangzhou last fall (to Scheepers).
What's next for Rybarikova? "I can't go to Canada because I was in the qualies; I'm still out of qualies for Cincinnati. Maybe the US Open is next for me."
The Slovak has also had her eye on the Olympics this past week. "With the time difference it has been tough to watch, but I watched a bit of Serena today. It's amazing how she played this week. It's not even possible how she was playing. I was thinking it's not possible to win a final 60 61. She's amazing.
"I also watched some Slovak athletes in other sports. I was mostly reading about everything in the news. I love the Olympics and was sad I couldn't play - but if I was there I couldn't be here, so something bad for something good."
Pavlyuchenkova, who came from 64 31 down to win her semifinal against No.4 seed Vania King, 46 75 64, had never lost in a WTA final - she is now 3-1.
The doubles final was played on Friday and saw Shuko Aoyama and Chang Kai-Chen defeat Irina Falconi and Chanelle Scheepers, 75 62, their first WTA doubles title together. Chang won her third WTA doubles title, while Aoyama won her first WTA doubles title - in fact her first WTA title of any kind.
"I'm so happy we won here in the first time we've played together," Chang said. "I hope Shuko and I can play more in the future. I've had wonderful memories from my first experience in Washington and I hope to be back next year."
Chang is Chinese Taipei's No.3 player, behind Hsieh Su-Wei and Chan Yung-Jan. Taipei is going to host one of the very first WTA Challengers Series events later this year. "I would love to play the tournament if my physical situation permits," Chang said. "As there's still quite some time until then, we'll see."