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Elena Rybakina stated she “doesn’t feel pressure” despite being the favorite for Wimbledon after advancing to the quarter-finals when her opponent, Anna Kalinskaya, had to retire. The fourth seed was leading 6-3, 3-0 after a dominant performance when Kalinskaya, who had taken a medical timeout towards the end of the first set, could not continue. Rybakina had won eight consecutive games before the Russian withdrew.

The 2022 champion is now the highest-ranked woman left in the tournament following surprising exits by Iga Swiatek and Coco Gauff. Rybakina will face Elina Svitolina in the quarter-finals. Seven of the top 10 seeds have already been eliminated, with No. 7 Jasmine Paolini and No. 11 Danielle Collins being the next highest-ranked players still in the draw after Rybakina. However, the 25-year-old from Kazakhstan maintains that she is not burdened by the expectations.

“I don’t feel pressure,” Rybakina said during her on-court interview. “Every opponent is challenging, and I know I need to always give my best effort. That’s what I’m striving to do in every match, and I’m just enjoying every moment on the court. I’m pleased to be progressing in the draw and hope to make it to the end.”

No. 17 seed Kalinskaya initially showed promise, breaking Rybakina in the opening game of a fiercely contested first set. However, after receiving attention from a physio while trailing 4-3 with the set back on serve, things went downhill for her. She lost game after game and ultimately retired after Rybakina secured a double-break in the second set.

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