Rybakina targets top 10 after reaching Adelaide final

Adelaide (Australia) (AFP) – Kazakhstan's Elena Rybakina said she was targeting a place in the world's top 10 after easing past Japanese player Misaki Doi in the semi-finals of the season-opening Adelaide International on Saturday.


The towering Rybakina started slowly but had too much firepower for Doi, winning 6-4, 6-3 in 83 minutes.

Rybakina served nine aces and hit 22 winners in the straight-sets win to book a final against either world number one Ashleigh Barty or rising Polish star Iga Swiatek.

The 22-year-old Rybakina, who stands 1.84 metres (6 feet) tall, went into the tournament ranked 14th in the world.

Reaching the final will see her rise to 12th, and if she wins she will end the week as world number 11.

"I want to get to the top 10 and play well in the Grand Slams and big tournaments," she said.

"I haven't played my best tennis this week -- I still have to improve (for the final)."

Against Doi, Rybakina looked sluggish early and dropped her first service game.

But in a match of few long rallies, she broke straight back and then broke Doi again at 5-4 to take the first set in 40 minutes.

The big-serving Rybakina found her range and was never troubled on serve, while Doi came under increasing pressure from the powerful hitting by her opponent.

Rybakina broke at 3-3 in the second, then again at 5-3 to claim a comfortable win.