Tenth-seeded Elena Rybakina prevailed in a marathon tiebreak and went on to notch a 7-6 (11), 6-4 victory over second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka on Sunday to win the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, Calif.
The Kazakh recorded seven aces while winning her fourth career title. The 2022 Wimbledon champion needed two hours, three minutes to finish off the victory over Sabalenka, the No. 2-ranked player in the world.
Rybakina beat World No. 1 Iga Swiatek of Poland in the semifinals to set up a coveted rematch with Sabalenka. The Belarus native was previously 4-0 against Rybakina and beat her in the Australian Open final earlier this year.
Rybakina, 23, had 26 winners against 16 unforced errors while winning her first 1000-level title. Sabalenka was plagued by 10 double faults and 34 unforced errors and hit 29 winners.
Sabalenka, 24, dropped to 17-2 this season.
Rybakina had five set points during the first-set tiebreaker before finally converting to win in 79 minutes. Sabalenka had two set points during the tiebreaker.
Rybakina won the first two games of the second set and never trailed before closing out the victory. She is projected to rise to a career-high No. 7 in the world on Monday.
--Field Level Media