Elena Rybakina vs Jelena Ostapenko Rome 2023 Preview and Prediction


With a final four that contains three very aggressive players, the Rome draw outcome has come as a bit of a surprise. However, in an in-form former defending champion in Jelena Ostapenko and Elena Rybakina do have plenty of pedigree and either feel like a worthy winner should they take the title this weekend. Ostapenko leads the head to head 2-1 but Rybakina did win their most recent meeting at the Australian Open this year.

Ostapenko’s success this week is another example of the big hitters doing well against more traditional clay players. She was impressive in beating Barbora Krejcikova earlier in the tournament and followed that up with a nice win against Paula Badosa in the quarter finals, taking it 6-2 4-6 6-3. She broke seven times against the Spaniard, taking advantage of a poor first serving day from her opponent. “Paula is a great player and I know she is such a fighter, so I expected a tough battle. The most important thing was to fight for every point. The match is only over when you shake hands, so even though some points and games didn’t go my way, I just managed it. I think I played well in deciding moments.”

Although the match ended with the score tied at 2-6 7-6 2-2, Rybakina picked up another win over Iga Swiatek after an injury for the Pole ended the match. Rybakina had been impressive in dragging the match into a third, having looked outclassed for large parts of the first half of the match. “It was a really tough match, especially the beginning,” Rybakina said. “I would say I didn’t start that good. With Iga she was really aggressive from the beginning, she was more explosive, she was moving better. I was struggling with the first serve in the first set a lot, so it was not really helping me to play every time with a second serve. In the second set, I started to feel a little bit better.”

With the pair likely to offer up much of the same style throughout, it will be about who can do it better and who can hold their nerve. While a surging Ostapenko is always dangerous, Rybakina is definitely the one who has been showing more consistency and composure over the last year or so. The Kazakh’s serve is still proving a weapon too so if she can repeat the 10 aces of her last win, that will go a long way to ensuring victory against an opponent still capable of punishing weak serves.

Prediction – Elena Rybakina in three sets