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Elena Rybakina with the Indian Wells trophy after defeating Aryna Sabalenka in the women’s final on Sunday. Image Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Indian Wells: Elena Rybakina said she was targeting the world No 1 ranking after the Wimbledon champion defeated Aryna Sabalenka on Sunday to capture the Indian Wells crown for her first title of the season.

The Kazakh star’s 7-6 (11) 6-4 victory over the second-ranked Sabalenka in a reversal of the Australian Open final lifted her to a career-high No 7 and the 23-year-old said she was determined to push on.

“I think the biggest goal is of course to be No 1,” Rybakina said. “There’s still long way to go. So this is the end goal, I’d say.

Impressive win

“For now, I’m seven, but you know how quickly the rankings change. So I need to always focus on the next tournament I play. I’m just trying not to think so much about the rankings.”

Rybakina’s victory over Sabalenka followed her impressive win over Iga Swiatek, marking the first time a player had beaten the women’s world No 1 and two in the semis and final at a tournament since Garbine Muguruza in Cincinnati six years ago.

“I didn’t think about this, but good stat,” said Rybakina, who picked up her fourth career title.

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Iga Swiatek lost in the semi-finals of the Indian Wells, however despite the setback the Pole holds a commanding lead as world No 1. Image Credit: US TODAY Sports

Second missed chance

“I don’t know what to say. When I come to play against anyone, I try not to think about the rankings.

“I just want to do my best. Yeah, in the end, try to win.”

Swiatek retains a commanding lead as world No 1, despite failing to win a second straight Indian Wells title after a semi-final loss to Rybakina.

WTA top 20

1. Iga Swiatek (POL) 9,975 pts

2. Aryna Sabalenka 6,740

3. Jessica Pegula (USA) 5,605

4. Caroline Garcia (FRA) 4,990 (+1)

5. Ons Jabeur (TUN) 4,976 (-1)

6. Coco Gauff (USA) 4,401

7. Elena Rybakina (KAZ) 3,720 (+3)

8. Daria Kasatkina 3,375

9. Belinda Bencic (SUI) 3,360

10. Maria Sakkari (GRE) 3,191 (-3)

11. Veronika Kudermetova 2,470

12. Petra Kvitova (CZE) 2,377 (+3)

13. Barbora Krejcikova (CZE) 2,324 (+3)

14. Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA) 2,276 (-1)

15. Liudmila Samsonova 2,191 (-3)

16. Victoria Azarenka 2,182 (-2)

17. Karolina Pliskova (CZE) 2,155

18. Ekaterina Alexandrova 2,005

19. Magda Linette (POL) 1,770 (+2)

20. Donna Vekic (CRO) 1,662 (+3)