Center Court at the Ariake Tennis Park hosted the women’s bronze medal match between Elina Svitolina and Elena Rybakina, losers of the previous day’s men’s singles semifinal.
What You Want to Know?
E. Rybakina Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
In the latter, Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain, competing in his first Olympics, won bronze by defeating Novak Djokovic, ranked first in the world, but needing six of his own match points to do so.
Fourth-seeded Ukrainian Elina Svitolina was hoping to avoid the same fate as Djokovic, who had been the highest-ranked semifinals to finish in fourth place.
A classic battle in the vein of many of her previous matches, the Ukrainian was her usual dogged self and fought to the end, recovering from a disastrous first set to win a historic match after two hours and twenty-four minutes of back-and-forth play.
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Rybakina Jumps Over a Barrier and Dominates the First Set.
While the Kazakh national lost two games to Rybakina’s none, the Russian-born player won the first set in under half an hour.
The 22-year-old Moscow native served to start the match, and she had her first test in the third game of the set.
There, in a game that went to six deuces, Rybakina fought off two break points and held for the win.
After getting beyond that stumbling block, the Kazakh went on to win the following four games in a row, the set, and the match 6-1, bringing home the first tennis medal for her country.
In the aforementioned time frame, Rybakina only lost five points, won two of three break points, and served out the set with a backhand dropshot winner and a thunderous serve.
In a Tense Second Set, Svitolina Managed to Pull Even.
It began with Svitolina, at age 26, holding serve for the second time in the match, this time to 15 points. However, Rybakina, at age 15, kept up the pressure, breaking in the third game and then sealing the set with a backhand volley winner in the fourth.
In the game after that, the Ukrainian recorded her third service hold to cut into her opponent’s lead, and in the game after that, she started her surge by making inroads and converting on the third of three break point opportunities.
Then, after three sets of deadlock, the two players finally reached a tiebreak, the second of their three encounters. She held serve to take the lead for the first time, 4-3.
Svitolina, a two-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist, twice went up a mini-break but could not hold on to her advantages.
At 5-5, the Ukrainian was awarded a set point after being on the receiving end of a volley error by Rybakina.
Svitolina won the first set after 63 minutes thanks to a return fault from her Kazakh opponent while serving for the match.
This was only the second time in history that the bronze medal match went to a third set, and the second time in a row after the 2016 Rio Olympics, where Petra Kvitova defeated Madison Keys 7-5, 2-6, 6-2.
Ukrainian Tennis Player Elina Svitolina Rides a Second-Round Comeback to a Bronze Medal.
Rybakina, ranked 20th in the world, broke in the second game of the deciding set and then held serve to go up 3-0 after both of her opponents’ service games were threatened by a break.
The Kazakh had two opportunities to increase her advantage in the next game, but Svitolina squandered both of them and won the game on her second game point to finally get on the board.
After two more service holds brought the score to 4-2, Svitolina began penning her own comeback, notching her tenacity with a three-game victory streak to go within striking distance of the bronze medal.
It was in the deciding game that the match’s tensions finally came to a head, as the Ukrainian’s late charge saw her give up only six points while breaking her opponent twice.
Svitolina had two match points there but couldn’t convert either of them, and Rybakina had four more but always came up with a winner to keep the match going.
However, the seventh match point was the final straw for the Odessa-born Ukrainian, and she collapsed on the court in tears as she celebrated the historic victory for her country.
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Quick Look at The Gold Medal Game
After Svitolina’s victory, Belinda Bencic defeated Czech lefty Marketa Vondrousova in the final to bring Switzerland its third tennis gold medal, second in singles, and first for a woman.
Both the bronze and gold medal matches in the women’s singles division went the distance, making this the second consecutive Olympic Games with this result.
Tomorrow at the women’s doubles event, both the Swiss and the Czech teams will be well represented.
Defending champions Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova will be waiting for Bencic and his compatriot Viktorija Golubic there.