Elena Rybakina has achieved a historic result at Wimbledon 2022: never has a Kazakhstan tennis player pushed to the final, actually already the semifinal, in a Grand Slam tournament and never achieved such a high ranking.
At the expense was former world number 1 Simona Halep, beaten with a double 6-3 in an hour and 16 minutes of play. The figure of Elena Rybakina, however, has attracted the attention of fans and professionals not only for what has been demonstrated in the court, but also for the speech relating to her nationality.
Born in Moscow on June 17, 1999, the young player chose, in June 2018, to leave the Russian federation to the Kazakh one.
And when asked by a journalist who asked her if she felt more Russian or more Kazakh, Rybakina replied, looking rather embarrassed, like this: "It’s a difficult question, but I mean that, even though I was born in Russia, I represent first of all Kazakhstan.
It is already a long way for me. I was playing in the Olympics and in the Fed Cup. I got a lot of help and support. I feel the support of the people and I am very happy to represent Kazakhstan because I think I also bring results which is very good for the sport in Kazakhstan. Yes, for me it is a difficult question, just to say exactly how I feel."
Tsurenko and the discomfort of facing Russian or Belarusian tennis players
In the defeat remedied at the Roland Garros against the absolute dominatrix Iga Swiatek, dated 23 May 2022, the expert Ukrainian tennis player Lesia Tsurenko had commented, among other things, the decision taken by the organizers of Wimbledon to ban the participation of Russians and Belarusians , agreeing with the choice.
Not only that, the 33-year-old had even declared that she felt uncomfortable thinking about the possibility of facing opponents of the two nationalities in a tournament, given the well-known war events between Russia and Ukraine: "I don’t feel good when I play against Russian or Belarusian players because they remind me of what’s going on in my country.
I even wondered if I should play those games or retire, in case I have to face them. My final decision is to play, I’m not 20 anymore, I don’t know how long I’ll be here, so I want to take the opportunity to continue playing games. But it is painful, I would always like not to have to cross them in the draws, mentally it is very complicated."