Elena Rybakina knows what she needs to do to win the French Open

Elena Rybakina in action
Elena Rybakina reacts during a match

Elena Rybakina believes that she has identified what she needs to do to be a French Open contender.

Rybakina won her first WTA Tour level title on clay and says that she has always believed she could master the surface.

She comes into Roland Garros as the Italian Open champion and with three titles on clay to her name.

Rybakina feels that she needs to make a slight change to her approach to ensure she is among the French Open contenders.

“On clay I think I won my first WTA, so since then I knew that I can play good on clay also,” Rybakina said.

“Just I need to prepare differently.

“Maybe I need more time for the preparation. And also experience for the past few years.

“Overall I think that I’m improving a lot physically, and also I played a lot of matches this year. No matter the surface, I feel like it’s anyway giving me confidence.”

Rybakina rose to a career-high world No 4 in the wake of her triumph in Rome but says that rankings are not really her focus.

“I don’t think about the rankings so much. Of course it’s nice to see the progress also with the ranking, but I have been playing well I think last year also, and now I’m just getting a bit more consistent, doing good job with the team. I just want to keep on going like this, and we see how far I can go this year,” Rybakina said.

The Kazakhstan No 1 feels that she can beat any player in the world if she is on her game.

“It’s impossible to play every time good and feel great, but I feel for sure no matter the surface, if I play my best, I can beat anyone,” Rybakina declared.

Rybakina doesn’t feel that there is any great secret to her success but she feels that working hard with a good team has propelled her to the top.

Rybakina is quickly forming a compelling rivalry with the top two players in the world, and she acknowledges that they have been “pushing each other” to be better all year. Rybakina has defeated Iga Swiatek three times this season and has a 1-1 record versus Aryna Sabalenka in 2023.

“I think of course I’m more consistent,” Rybakina said in Rome. “There is still a lot of things to improve. But, yeah, I’m happy that physically I can maintain and stay so long in the tournament ’til the end. I think it’s just overall all the years of experience and also adapting.”

READ MORE: Rise of Big Three good for women’s tennis, says Jessica Pegula