Pam Shriver told she ‘owes’ Elena Rybakina’s coach a public apology over Twitter comments

Elena Rybakina in action

Dmitry Tursunov has fired back at Pam Shriver over her suggestion that Elena Rybakina should look for a new coach following Stefano Vukov’s questionable behaviour at the Australian Open.

Vukov, who has been part of Rybakina’s coaching set-up since 2019, made headlines during the Kazakh player’s semi-final win against Victoria Azarenka at Melbourne Park as many were unhappy with the way he talked to the 23-year-old as well as his animated gestures.

The Croatian-born Vukov was asked about his conduct after the match, but he played it down, saying: “It’s easy to just take clips and then make something controversial. This is part of our sport, it’s normal.”

Although he kept a lid on things during the final defeat against Aryna Sabalenka on Saturday, his actions still drew criticism with doubles great Pam Shriver in particular unimpressed.

“As I watch Rybakina try to win her second major in 7 months, I hope she finds a coach who speaks and treats her with respect at ALL times and does not ever accept anything less,” the American tweeted.

READ MORE: Elena Rybakina’s coach Stefano Vukov under fire: ‘I hope she finds a coach who speaks and treats her with respect’

However, her comments have not gone down well with Tursunov, who currently coaches Tokyo Olympic singles gold medalist Belinda Bencic.

The Russian, who had a trial run with 2021 US Open winner Emma Raducanu last year, snapped back.

“Pam, I have respected you as an entity in tennis but lately I’ve seen you write a lot of questionable things. This one has to top it off,” he wrote.

“In your quest to vilify random people in tennis for odd reasons, you have openly and publicly insulted a man who is solely responsible for the fact that you even know who Elena Rybakina is.”

He added: “You have zero clue what you are talking about and at the very least owe a public apology to a man who is a great coach in every sense of that word.

“You’d be lucky to ever reach that level and every player would be lucky to have someone like that in their corner. The man is loyal to his player with every atom of his body and soul. It’s a shame you have proved time and time again that you are blind to see anything than bunch of gestures.”

Shriver, though, believes her experience in the game gives her more than enough credibility to comment on the issue.

“45 years in the game seeing and experiencing just about everything and I don’t know what I am talking about? Would you say that to Sam Shriver? I don’t think so and here lies one another problem,” she replied.

The tennis great added: “You really think I would tweet if it was only about gestures? His words, his actions and his manner towards a young player, often are disrespectful and most people have noticed it.”