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Montreal: August 3, 2024 - August 12, 2024
Toronto: August 4, 2024 - August 12, 2024
Montreal : August 3 - 12, 2024
Toronto : August 4 - 12, 2024
NBO Results

Samsonova rallies past Rybakina, sets Pegula showdown for National Bank Open title

Liudmila Samsonova overpowers a fatigued Elena Rybakina to reach maiden WTA 1000 final

If there’s one thing we’ve come to count on at the National Bank Open in Montreal, it’s an underdog story.

Two years ago, it was Camila Giorgi’s surprise run to the title. Last year, Pablo Carreño Busta shocked the world with his trophy-winning performance. And this year, Liudmila Samsonova is doing her best to make it an underdog three-peat.

The big-serving 24-year-old knocked out No. 3 seed Elena Rybakina on Sunday in a match that had been scheduled for Saturday night before rain delayed it until today. Though she got off to a slow start, Samsonova saved her best for the final set to knock out a fatigued Rybakina, 1-6, 6-1, 6-2 to reach the final against Jessica Pegula, to be played later on Sunday.

Photo : Patrice Beriault

It was a tricky encounter for the two players, as both had been on the receiving end of multiple rain delayed matches and neither wanted to expend too much energy knowing they’d have a final to play just a couple hours later. Samsonova on Thursday needed to play two matches in one day, while Rybakina played the third-longest National Bank Open match in history when she defeated Kasatkina in a match that ended at nearly 3:00 a.m. that same night.

Photo : Patrice Beriault

But it was Samsonova who ultimately handled her fatigue better, benefiting from some serving woes from Rybakina, who struggled with both a sore shoulder and the swirling wind at IGA Stadium. After benefitting from three consecutive double faults from the Kazakh in the second game of the second set, the No. 14 seed never looked back.

Samsonova, who has four career titles to her name but has never been past the round of 16 at a tournament larger than a WTA 500, was impeccable to close out the match. She hit returns hard and deep off Rybakina’s serve, shocking the 2022 Wimbledon champ with consistent power that hadn’t been clicking at the start of the match.

After an hour and 51 minutes of play, Samsonova closed it out as Rybakina hit one final groundstroke into the net.

Photo : Pascal Ratthé