Elena Rybakina makes strong comeback, defeats Greet Minnen in French Open first round

Elena Rybakina

28th May 2024 – (Paris) Elena Rybakina, ranked fourth in the world, overcame a challenging start to defeat Belgian player Greet Minnen 6-2, 6-3 in the first round of the French Open on Tuesday, 28th May. This victory marks Rybakina’s successful return following her recent illness.

Having been unable to defend her Italian Open title due to illness, Rybakina faced an early setback at Roland Garros as she lost her serve in the opening game, falling behind 2-0 against Minnen. The situation seemed precarious for the Kazakh player at this point.

However, displaying tremendous determination, the fourth seed swiftly turned the tide by winning the next six games, claiming the first set in her favour. Continuing her dominance, Rybakina began the second set with a commanding 4-0 lead.

Minnen, refusing to back down, mounted a comeback by breaking Rybakina’s serve. Despite the Belgian’s resistance and a subsequent break of serve by Rybakina, Minnen managed to break once again when Rybakina served for the match. Nevertheless, this setback only postponed the inevitable, as Rybakina held her subsequent service game to secure the victory.

Notably, Rybakina is the sole player to have defeated Iga Swiatek on clay this year. Her remarkable victory against the world number one and three-time French Open champion occurred during her triumphant campaign en route to winning the Stuttgart title in April.