World No.1 Aryna Sabalenka triumphed on Friday over Kazakh Elena Rybakina (N.4) 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 to qualify for the semi-finals of the WTA Masters in Cancun, Mexico. The Belarusian, who finished 2nd in her group behind the American Jessica Pegula, thus maintains her chances of retaining her rank as world number one at the end of a match interrupted Thursday by rain while she was trailing in the second set .
When the match resumed, some 16 hours later, Rybakina equalized a set before Sabalenka won the third set and the match. A victory in the semi-final on Saturday would ensure he maintains his world No. 1 ranking. A defeat would open the possibility of seizing this place for the Pole Iga Swiatek, who had already occupied it for 75 weeks until the US Open.
In the other matches remaining to be played on Friday, Swiatek faces the Tunisian Ons Jabeur, and the American Coco Gauff challenges the Czech Marketa Vondrousova.