Elena Rybakina explains why she publicly defended her coach Stefano Vukov after social media ‘mess’

Elena Rybakina takes a break

Elena Rybakina has again insisted that she is happy with Stefano Vukov’s coaching methods following the furore about some of his antics during the Australian Open.

Vukov grabbed the attention of social media users during Rybakina’s run to the final at Melbourne Park as he was criticised for the way he communicated with the Kazakhstan player.

With on-court coaching allowed, Vukov was perceived to be too aggressive with his instructions while his gestures also did not go down well.

Doubles great and tennis commentator Pam Shriver took to Twitter during Rybakina’s final against Aryna Sabalenka to call on her to “find a new coach”.

Although she received plenty of support, Russian coach Dmitry Tursunov hit back at the American saying: “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.”

After the final Rybakina took to Instagram to defend her coach and slammed the “fake news”, but that was not the end of that as 2013 Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli also expressed her unhappiness with Vukov, saying she was basing her opinion on incidents she witnessed herself.

READ MORE: Marion Bartoli latest to criticise Elena Rybakina’s coach Stefano Vukov

In an interview with Eurosport, reigning Wimbledon champion Rybakina has explained why she defended her coach publicly and also insisted that she is happy with him as her mentor.

“Unfortunately, the internet is a big thing and someone can make a comment without thinking and then people just pick it up and make a mess,” she told Eurosport.

“A few people made some comments; they don’t know me at all, and they don’t know my team, which I was really surprised by because if there are any problems, you can always come and talk with me directly. But people decided to post it on the internet so I kind of showed the reality, that everything is fine and everybody needs to stay in their places and not mix up.”

She added: “If you see me just like on the court, you don’t know what’s happening around and it’s quite a lot. Even if I look calm, of course, I always talk with my coach, it’s just not the moment, of course during a match I will just listen.

“Sometimes I really need energy because I’m quite calm and I can be so much thinking about myself, and focusing on myself during the match, so I need something quick to understand what’s happening around.

“He helps me a lot. We have open dialogues, and we’ve worked already for four years. Sometimes I have bad days but people might not see it. And of course, when we work on the court I respect him a lot, I’m trying to listen and get all the information I can.”