Elena Rybakina will do battle with Petra Kvitova for the Miami Open title at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday (8pm…
Elena Rybakina will do battle with Petra Kvitova for the Miami Open title at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday (8pm BST).
Competing for over $1million in prize money, whoever prevails in the championship match at Miami Gardens will make history.
Indian Wells Masters champion Rybakina can become only the fifth woman to win the “Sunshine Double” after Steffi Graf, Kim Clijsters, Victoria Azarenka and Iga Swiatek.
Meanwhile, a 30th WTA tour-level title would make Kvitova the oldest champion in Miami since Serena Williams eight years ago.
Rybakina is the sixth female to appear in the final at the Australian Open, Indian Wells and Miami in the same year after Graf, Monica Seles, Lindsay Davenport, Martina Hingis and Maria Sharapova.
The reigning Wimbledon champion, who was last beaten by Beatriz Haddad Maia in the Abu Dhabi quarter-finals in February, is on a 13-match winning streak, and has gone from strength to strength this fortnight.
Indeed, she rescued match point in her third-round victory over Paula Badosa, but has not dropped a set since in seeing off Elise Mertens, Martina Trevisan and third seed Jessica Pegula.
Rybakina has also hit 10 or more aces in five consecutive matches – taking her tally for the season to 212 – with Serena Williams the last woman to achieve that feat in a single tournament (Wimbledon, 2016).
As for Kvitova, she has dropped just a single set on route to reaching her first Miami final at the 15th attempt, defeating Linda Noskova, Donna Vekic, Varvara Gracheva, Ekaterina Alexandrova and Sorana Cirstea along the way.
The third left-hander to reach the Miami showpiece after Seles and Martina Navratilova, the Czech also joins Chris Evert and Serena Williams as one of three players to do so after turning 33.
Kvitova is set to appear in her 13th WTA 1000 final – and first since Cincinnati last year – with only Serena Williams, Azarenka, Simona Halep and Victoria Azarenka bettering that tally since 2009.
And victory would see the two-time Wimbledon champion return to the world’s top 10 for the first time in just over 18 months.
Play gets underway at around 8pm BST on Saturday and will be contested over the best of three sets at Hard Rock Stadium, Miami.
How to watch Rybakina v Kvitova live stream
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