Elena Rybakina defeated Aryna Sabalenka 7-6 (11), 6-4 on Sunday to win the BNP Paribas Open and hand the world’s second-ranked player just her second loss this year.
Rybakina carried the momentum from her straight-set semifinal upset of top-ranked Iga Swiatek into the final and beat Sabalenka for the first time in five career meetings.
For the first time in their budding rivalry, the match didn’t go three sets. Sabalenka went the distance to beat Rybakina in the Australian Open final in January. In that match, Sabalenka fired 17 aces and rallied from a set down to win her first Grand Slam title.
This time, Rybakina had seven aces and Sabalenka committed 10 double faults.
Rybakina improved her match record to 16-4 this year; Sabalenka fell to 17-2.
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