NANCHANG, China – At 1:43 a.m., Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina capped a marathon day at the Jiangxi Open.
The No. 4 seed rallied from a 5-3 down in the final set to defeat No. 6 seed Viktorija Golubic in a marathon quarterfinal that lasted nearly two-and-a-half hours on Friday, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.
“It was a good match. It was a tough one, because we were waiting all day,” Rybakina said. “It was very difficult, humid conditions, but I’m happy to get through to the semifinal.”
With three of the four quarterfinal matches going the distance, nearly eight hours of tennis had been played on Nanchang’s Centre Court before Rybakina and Golubic took the court.
Earlier in the day, Peng Shuai extended her winning streak in Nanchang to 13-0 by defeating compatriot Zhu Lin, 6-4, 7-6(5), while No. 5 seed Rebecca Peterson and unseeded Nina Stojanovic needed nearly three hours each to win their quarterfinal matches.
To begin the day, Stojanovic rallied from a set down to beat No. 7 seed Kateryna Kozlova, 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4, while Peterson downed in-form No. 3 seed Magda Linette, 6-3, 6-7(3), 7-6(5).
In the final match of the day, Rybakina was up a break twice in the opener, before ultimately breaking the Swiss for a third time to seal a one-set lead. In the second set, Golubic flipped the script and was the one to lead by a break twice, before the Swiss ultimately won the last three games to set the match to a decider.
The first to break in the final set, Rybakina could not hold an early lead, and surrendered four of the next five games to see Golubic step to the line and serve for the match.
Two points away from victory at deuce in the ninth game, Golubic was unable to reach match point, and fell victim to the Kazakh’s furious rally in the match’s late stages.
Rybakina, the lone player among the four semifinalists to win a title in 2019, will face Peng in Saturday’s semifinals, while Peterson and Stojanovic will face off as each seeks her first appearance in a WTA singles final.