LONDON, July 10
Elena Rybakina’s modest celebrations after winning Wimbledon yesterday was mostly due to her impassive personality but there was possibly also an air of inevitability about her triumph that made her react the way she did.
Maybe it mentally clicked (this time). I believed in myself more in this tournament and in the crucial moments I was just solid enough to win Elena Rybakina
Rybakina was only 20 when her career graph went on an upward trajectory around the start of the 2020 season as she lifted a second WTA title in Hobart and also reached the finals in Shenzhen, St Petersburg and Dubai.
She broke into the top-20 of the women’s world rankings in February 2020, but saw her progress stymied due to a thigh injury before the Covid-19 pandemic forced the suspension of the tennis season. The Moscow-born player, who shifted allegiance to Kazakhstan four years back, reached her maiden Grand Slam quarterfinals at the French Open last year before making the fourth round at the manicured lawns of the All England Club.
So what changed between being another youngster with massive potential to becoming a Grand Slam champion? “The last three years I think I’m top 20,” Rybakina, who reached a career-high ranking of 12 in January, said. “And I had very good matches, great battles, against great champions, and it was always close. In those close moments I was the one who will lose the serve or just miss. Maybe it mentally clicked (this time). I believed in myself more in this tournament and in the crucial moments I was just solid enough to win.”
Asked if she believed she can be the dominant champion at the All England Club in future, Rybakina said: “I think yes. Because it was just my second time in the main draw of Wimbledon... Maybe I’m gonna be doing well here. We’ll see.” — Reuters
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