Elena Rybakina feels ‘not Wimbledon champion’, says life as champion ‘not the greatest’



CNN

Just a few weeks ago, Elena Rybakina claimed arguably the most sought-after accolade in tennis: becoming a Wimbledon winner.

However, despite her momentous first Grand Slam win in London in July, she describes her experience as Wimbledon champion as “not the best”, saying she feels as if she “wasn’t the Wimbledon champion”.

Rybakina’s frustrations come after no points were awarded at Wimbledon this year in response to the tournament organizer’s decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Ordinarily, Rybakina’s world ranking would have soared after winning Wimbledon; he would have been expected to reach the top 10 in another year. However, the 23-year-old has fallen to no. 25 in the world.

And speaking ahead of the US Open which starts on Monday, Kazakhstan’s Rybakina expressed her unhappiness with life since her first Grand Slam win.

“It was my dream to win Wimbledon,” Rybakina told reporters in New York on Friday. “It’s a shame. I feel like I’m not actually the Wimbledon champion.”

Rybakina celebrates with the trophy after beating Ons Jabeur in the Wimbledon final.

He added: “I don’t think it’s fair. Of course we can’t change it. It was a decision (made) before. I’m not just talking about me, but in general I think with all decisions, a lot of players are paying for all these decisions.

“In a tournament I’m going to play against the greatest champion, (Garbine) Muguruza, and we’re playing on court No. 4. That’s kind of the question for me.”

She also lamented that her time as a Grand Slam winner has not been compared to others in the past, explaining that if ranking points had been awarded and she had climbed into the top 10, she would have been treated differently, playing on better tracks and scheduled. more favorably

“In terms of experience, I’d say it wasn’t the best.”

Rybakina, who was born in Russia but has represented Kazakhstan since 2018, stunned the tennis community by beating No. 1 Ons Jabeur, the third seed, in the Wimbledon final last month.

And although she became Kazakhstan’s first Grand Slam winner, the ranking points ban meant she missed out on 2,000 points for the WTA’s run to the final, the season-ending event of women’s tennis, where she would have placed second if she had received them. .

The top eight qualify for the final, but Rybakina is currently ranked 20th ahead of the US Open, leaving her with an uphill battle to make the event in October.

Rybakina returns a shot against Jabeur in the Wimbledon final.

“It’s all around. It’s the points situation. I don’t think it’s fair,” Rybakina said.

“Knowing that starting today I would be number 2 in the Race and I can’t play the Race, I don’t think it’s fair. I’m not just talking about me, but in general I think with all the decisions, a lot of players are paying for all these decisions.”

Rybakina, the no. Seeded 25th at the US Open, she begins her bid for back-to-back Grand Slam titles on Tuesday, facing France’s Clara Burel in the first round.

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