Elena Rybakina feels like “she was not the Wimbledon champion”, says that life as a champion “is not the best”



CNN

A few weeks ago, Elena Rybakina probably got the most coveted recognition in tennis: becoming a Wimbledon winner.

However, despite her first momentous Grand Slam victory in London in July, she describes her experience as a Wimbledon champion as “not the best”, saying she feels like “she wasn’t the Wimbledon champion”.

Rybakina’s frustrations come after world rankings were not awarded at Wimbledon this year in response to the tournament organizer’s decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Typically, Rybakina’s world rankings would skyrocket after winning Wimbledon – he was expected to hit the top 10 in another year. However, the 23-year-old moved up to No. 25 worldwide.

And speaking ahead of the US Open starting on Monday, Kazakhstan Rybakina has expressed her unhappiness for life since her first Grand Slam win.

“It was my dream to win Wimbledon,” Rybakina told reporters in New York on Friday. “It’s a shame. I actually feel like I’m not the Wimbledon champion.”

Rybakina celebrates with the trophy after beating Ons Jabeur in the Wimbledon final.

He added: “I don’t think it’s fair. Obviously we can’t change that. It was a decision (made) before. I’m not just talking about myself, but in general I think that with all the decisions, a lot of players are paying for all these decisions.

“In a tournament I go to play against the greatest champion, (Garbine) Muguruza, and we play on field n. 4. This is a kind of (a) question for me.

She also complained that her time as a Grand Slam winner was not matched in the past, explaining that if points were awarded and she would rise to the top 10, she would be treated differently, playing on better courts and being more favorably programmed.

“As for the experience, I’d say it wasn’t the best.”

Rybakina, born in Russia but representing Kazakhstan since 2018, shocked the tennis community by beating the No. 3-seeded Ons Jabeur in the Wimbledon final last month.

And while she became Kazakhstan’s first Grand Slam winner, the point-ranking ban meant she lost 2,000 points for the WTA’s Race to the Finals – the women’s tennis end-of-season event – where she would finish second if had received them.

The top eight qualify for the finals, but Rybakina is currently in 20th place before the US Open, leaving her an uphill battle to make it to the October event.

Rybakina returns a shot against Jabeur in the Wimbledon final.

“It’s all around. It is the situation of the points. I don’t think it’s fair, ”Rybakina said.

“Knowing that today I would be number 2 in the race and I am not able to compete in the race, I don’t think that’s right. I’m not just talking about myself, but in general I think that with all the decisions, many players are paying for all these decisions. ”

Rybakina, No. 25 seeded for the US Open, she begins her bid to win two Grand Slam titles on Tuesday, playing against France’s Clara Burel in the first round.