Elena Rybakina vs Anhelina Kalinina Rome 2023 Final Prediction


Saturday night’s Rome final does look one-sided on paper but Anhelina Kalinina will be hoping to spring a shock against Elena Rybakina. She hopes to become the second Ukrainian winner at this event after Elina Svitolina but will have her work cut out against an opponent who will finally become a Top 5 player after this tournament. Rybakina’s biggest points haul would have been at Wimbledon where she would have been a clear and easy No. 3 coming into this tournament with a +2000 from there.

Kalinina managed to recovered from a mighty second set collapse to oust Veronika Kudermetova in three, 7-5 5-7 6-2. She lost sixteen straight points at the end of the second set but bounced back immediately with the decisive early break to help her on the way to her biggest career win. She has spent six and a half hours on court in her last two matches with this one coming in at 2 hours and 51 minutes. “Third set, I think I was much better mentally. I was staying stronger, more focused. I’m really happy and proud of myself how I handled it after the second set.”

Rybakina has shown this week she is not just a player for fast surfaces with a great run to the final here. There has been some fortune with two wins by retirement but her straight sets win over Jelena Ostapenko in the semi finals was fairly impressive. She eased through the opening set but had to come from a break down in the second of her 6-2 6-4 win, striking against a cold Ostapenko following a rain delay. “I didn’t start that well the second set,” Rybakina said. “A bit low in energy, lost my serve. So it was difficult. Then a few good shots from her, good serves. It changed very quick. The same time, I knew it’s only one break and I just need to be focused and fight for every ball because you never know, either you get the winner or it’s going to be some mistake.”

Kalinina does lead the head-to-head 1-0 but even compared to last April when this match took place, Rybakina is a much improved player. Her aggressive play is far more composed and mentally, she has shown the ability to hold her nerves in big matches more often than not. The Wimbledon champion will be a step up from the big hitters Kalinina has taken out during the week and it may end up being one match too many for the Ukrainian, who is sure to be tired after some epic encounters.

Prediction – Elena Rybakina in straight sets