Elena Rybakina reveals why Wimbledon win did not make her feel she was a top player

Ewan West
Elena Rybakina in action
Elena Rybakina adjusts her cap during a match

Elena Rybakina has declared that she did not feel like a top player following her Wimbledon triumph last year because she was not awarded points for her win. 

The world No 5 admitted that the period following her victory at the All England Club was “not an easy one” as she was “not treated as a top player.”

Rybakina defeated Ons Jabeur in three sets in the final of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships to claim her maiden Grand Slam title.

The WTA and ATP tours did not award points to players at last year’s edition of Wimbledon in response to the tournament’s decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from competing.

The 24-year-old has followed up her major breakthrough with an impressive 2023 season, during which she has won two WTA 1000 titles. She was a runner-up at the Australian Open in January and reached the quarter-finals in her Wimbledon title defence in July – losing to Jabeur in a rematch of the 2022 final.

Speaking on Red Bull’s Mind Set Win podcast, Rybakina reflected on winning Wimbledon last year and the challenges her triumph brought.

“It was not easy to overcome this win because, of course after winning a title, you are like, ‘Wow, I hope it was not just by mistake, or by luck or whatever it is’. In my case, it was a bit different that I didn’t get the points, so on the rest of the tournaments and another big Grand Slam, I didn’t feel that I am a top player,” said the Kazakh.

“It’s a lot of expectations from you and a lot of people looking at you, waiting that what you are gonna do next on your next tournament. But at the same time, you are not treated as a top player because you didn’t get the points. So I would say that this period was not an easy one for sure.

“To be honest, when the match finished, you don’t think what you did well or wrong in that moment. But a few days later if you go back and you really want to analyse the match, I will always think, ‘Okay, here I would have done better.’ I don’t think that this is something stuck in my head for a long time.

“Of course, I would say ‘Okay, I could have done better.’ But then, I understand also that it’s first experience and everybody’s a human being, everyone can make a mistake. So this is kind of again, talk with yourself.”

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