Anhelina Kalinina came out on top of a very tough battle with world number 12 Veronika Kudermetova to reach her maiden WTA 1000 final at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia 2023. The Ukrainian needed almost three hours to win, after having had the longest match of the WTA season in the quarter finals against Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad-Maia.
“I would say here the crowd was supporting me so much during the two weeks”, she said while explaining where she found the energy to go through such excruciating matches: “I was feeling so much support. I don’t remember where I was playing. Almost for me it was like the whole stadium was cheering me up. Yeah, it’s kind of amazing feeling. I have never experienced something like that. They bring so much energy to fight when you don’t even have energy to do that. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank every person who was in the stadium from the first match till hopefully tomorrow I will have another match. Thanks for them. Yeah, they kind of motivated me and they give me much more energy to fight”.
Not only the public support, Kalinina was thankful for the extra rest day she had to prepare for today’s match.
“I would say it was a huge advantage for me that after Tuesday I have two days off. I was resting Wednesday. Then I hit maybe 45 minutes on Thursday. Today I was feeling much better than previous days. I had my time. I was, like, recovered. That was a huge advantage that we kind of had this day off”.
This time, recovery will have to be shorted as the final will see her opposed to the winner of a mouth-watering match between Elena Rybakina and Jelena Ostapenko.
“What I would say about Rybakina or Ostapenko? Both are Grand Slam champions, both girls are super aggressive on court. I played both of them, yeah. For me, it doesn’t matter who’s going to win because it’s going to be so tough anyway”.
But Kalinina has proven more than capable of causing upsets and she definitely wants to become the second woman from her country to lift the trophy in Rome, after Elina Svitolina.