Who is Elena Rybakina? She is a newly crowned Wimbledon champion from Kazakhstan. Word over to Alex Mann for a Elena Rybakina player profile.
Elena Rybakina player profile
The newly crowned Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina became the first tennis player representing Kazakhstan to win a major singles title when she beat Ons Jabeur to lift the Venus Rosewater Dish.
Rybakina is currently ranked 23rd in the world in singles on the WTA Tour and reached a career-high of 12 in January 2022.
So far, Rybakina has made 9 WTA career finals and has won 3 titles. She won her first title at the Bucharest Open in July 2019 and her second at the beginning of 2020 at the Hobart International in Australia.
Her most recent and biggest title came a few weeks ago when she won the women’s singles title at Wimbledon. Head over to my Wimbledon 2022 men’s final predictions article for a summary of the women’s final.
Rybakina was born in Moscow, Russia, on the 17th of June 1999, and competed for her home nation until 2018.
After a successful junior career, which saw her reach the junior Australian and French Open semi-final and world number 3, she received offers from US colleges to continue her tennis alongside her education.
However, she turned down these offers and accepted an offer from the Kazakhstan Tennis Federation to help fund her tennis career.
Just after her 19th birthday, she began representing Kazakhstan on the tennis circuit.
Her career breakthrough occurred in 2018, when Rybakina, ranked 450 in the world, defeated then world number 7, Caroline Garcia, at the 2018 St. Petersburg Ladies’ Trophy tournament.
At the beginning of the 2019 season, Rybakina hired former ATP player Stefano Vukov as her full-time coach. With Vukov, Rybakina qualified for her first major main draw at the 2019 French Open and broke into the top 100 that year.
After a consistent 2020, where she reached 5 WTA finals and then a singles career-high ranking of 17, the Kazakh went from strength to strength in 2021.
At the 2021 French Open, Rybakina defeated Serena Williams on her way to reaching her first major quarter-final. This was the first of three wins over top-10 players that year.
Also, that year she competed for Kazakhstan at the Tokyo Olympics, narrowly missing out on a medal in the women’s singles, coming fourth.
At the beginning of 2022, she reached the final of the Adelaide International, losing out to world number 1, Ash Barty before having the best result of her career, defeating Ons Jabeur in the final of Wimbledon.
The Kazakh’s game is built around her serve. She uses her 1.83m height to her advantage, sending down powerful serves and crushing balls with her groundstrokes.
So far in 2022, she has served the most aces on the WTA tour, including 53 at this year’s Wimbledon.
With her Wimbledon victory, Rybakina has now won titles on hard, clay and grass courts. Her all-court game and aggressive play style make her a threat on any surface, and it will be intriguing to see if she can continue her impressive performances throughout the rest of 2022 and challenge for more major titles.