Rybakina exudes confidence on clay, moving past Noskova into the third round

PARIS, June 1 (Reuters) – Fourth seed Elina Rybakina booked her third-round place on Thursday with a 6-3 6-3 win over rising Czech teenager Linda Noskova.

The Wimbledon champion, who reached the final of this year’s Australian Open, looked at ease on clay, though his game — a big serve and powerful shots — is better suited to faster surfaces.

„First, I think my first WTA win (in 2019) was on clay, so I thought I could really play on clay,” Rypakina told reporters.

„I think it depends on where, the conditions, how the weather is, the balls. Even here it’s completely different from Rome, the match I won.”

„But I think I can play well. With years of experience and tournaments I can get better and better (on clay),” Kazak said.

When 50th-ranked Noskova fired back in the third game, it didn’t take long for her to pull away with a break.

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, paying the price for some dangerous tricks and double-faulting on his serve in the 40th. 40 and down 5-3.

Rybakina, a member of the new 'Big Three’, along with fellow title contenders world number one Ika Sviatek and second seed Aryna Sabalenka, battled Noskova’s powerful serve and thunderous attack.

„She played very well, especially the serve, but I’m not very happy with the percentage of service from my side,” Rypakina said. „Lots of mistakes.”

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Noskova carved out two break points at 3-3, but Rybakina, who won a title at Indian Wells before reaching the Miami Open final, saved both — in both hardcourt matches.

She broke Noskova in the next game to go 5–3 up and win the match with an ace on her fourth match point.

Reporting by Karolos Croman, Editing by Pritha Sarkar

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