Elena Rybakina used her time in Abu Dhabi to visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. After finishing as runner-up to Aryna Sabalenka in the Australian Open final, Rybakina returned to action at last week’s Abu Dhabi Open. Unfortunately for Rybakina, she didn’t manage to win the title in Abu Dhabi after suffering a surprise defeat to Beatriz Haddad Maia in the quarterfinal.
But still it looked like a good week for Rybakina, who seemingly enjoyed her stay in Abu Dhabi and her visit to the Grand Mosque.
Haddad Maia praised Rybakina
Rybakina made a good start to the match, before Haddad Maia stormed back to beat the Kazakh 3-6 6-3 6–2.
After beating Rybakina in their first-ever meeting, Haddad Maia called the Kazakh “one of the best players in the world.” “Today was a very tough battle. Rybakina, she’s a very good player, one of the best players in the world, so I knew I had to push myself every single game, especially on her serve.
I was trying to find a way to return, to break her, to give myself one more chance, and I’m happy with my win. I think I slept at 3 am last night [after beating Putintseva]. The adrenaline was in my body. I left, after the physio, at almost 1 o’clock.
It’s not easy to celebrate one win knowing that you play right after in a few hours. I was in the gym this morning, but I love that,” Haddad Maia said after beating Rybakina, per the WTA website. This week, Rybakina is not competing.
Initially, Rybakina signed up to play at this week’s Qatar Open in Doha. After Rybakina didn’t make the main draw for Doha, she was listed to play in the qualifying event. In the end, Rybakina seemingly decided to skip Doha altogether.
Rybakina is expected to return to action at next week’s Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.