Tokyo Olympics Bronze Medal Match Predictions: Elina Svitolina vs Elena Rybakina

Elena Rybakina Tokyo Olympics

It is the final day of women’s tennis at the Olympic Games. Only one of these two women can take home the Bronze Medal at the Tokyo Olympics. Our writers share their thoughts on this upcoming matchup. We also predict the Gold Medal match. Predicting this match are Jim Smith, Anurag Sahay, Jack Edward, Ryan Schick, and Jakub Bobro. Who do you think will take home the Gold?

Tokyo Olympics Bronze Medal Match Predictions

Jim:

It will be interesting to see how Svitolina recovers from her bruising semifinal loss. Fortunately for the Ukrainian, Rybakina will have demons of her own to put to bed, having lost narrowly to Bencic in a semifinal that she may well feel she should have won. But the Kazakh has had a much more impressive season than Svitolina and she has also played the better tennis in Tokyo. Unless Svitolina finds a sudden and marked improvement, expect Rybakina to be the player who makes it to the podium.
Prediction: Rybakina in 2

Anurag:

After 12 hours on the court in sweltering heat, Svitolina looks worn down and not ready for another fight. Rybakina, on the other hand, has been at her physical best through the last five matches. Her serve stands out as the biggest weapon and she hasn’t failed to put it to work at the Olympics in Tokyo. Furthermore, quick surfaces suit her imperious service game and she won the only match she played with Svitolina on the quick grass. Rybakina, therefore, starts as a strong favorite and there is little reason to disbelieve she is winning the Bronze.
Prediction: Rybakina in 2

Jack:

Elina Svitolina has done very well to give herself a chance at a medal; her season had been fairly poor and she beat some tough opposition to get to the semis. Her recent lack of deep runs at tournaments might leave her a little struck by the occasion, however, and her opponent, Elena Rybakina, has the potential to leave the Ukrainian scratching her head if she’s in full flow. I’ll back the more in-form of the two players.
Prediction: Rybakina in 2

Ryan:

Rybakina beat Svitolina just a couple months ago in Eastbourne and will look to repeat that, but Svitolina is much more comfortable on hard courts. Svitolina was excellent in Tokyo and looked like a Gold Medal favorite before being stopped by Vondrousova. Svitolina will handle her nerves better and bounce back by playing strong defense and forcing Rybakina into too many errors.
Prediction: Svitolina in 2

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Jakub:

Rybakina was looking dominant until her semifinal loss to Bencic, not dropping a single set in her run against Samantha Stosur, Rebecca Peterson, Donna Vekic, and Garbine Muguruza. Even in the semifinal, the Kazakh looked the better player for most of it, but just could not take her chances.

Svitolina was probably the favorite for Gold once the semifinals were set, but once again she was unable to perform in the final stages of a big tournament. She only won four games against Vondrousova and never looked in the match. The three long three-set battles she endured earlier in the week against Laura Siegemund, Ajla Tomljanovic, and Maria Sakkari might have taken a toll on the Ukranian, but she looked solid in her quarterfinal straight-set win over Camila Giorgi, so her poor semifinal still came as a shock.

The head-to-head is 1-1, with Rybakina winning their meeting on grass and Svitolina their match on clay. Based on their most recent matches, it is difficult to see how Svitolina comes back after that semifinal.
Prediction: Rybakina in 3

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