Elena Rybakina feels like she’s ‘not the Wimbledon champion,’ says life as champion ‘not the greatest’
She was one of the youngest players to make Wimbledon finals for 10 years, but Elena Rybakina, who won the women’s Wimbledon title on Sunday and will play in her 20th major with a trophy bearing her name, has found it hard to adjust to life as the champion.
When the 27-year-old was winning her first round-robin, against Maria Sakkari in Madrid, she felt like she was at a “normal” tennis tournament, and that she could “pass around the world”.
But she was surprised when she was “taken out” by a “super player” as she raced to the second round at Wimbledon in July, and again in her second-round defeat to Carla Suarez Navarro in Tokyo last September.
“It was in the second round against Suarez Navarro, at Wimbledon, two months ago,” she said after her win at the All England Club on Sunday. “I was losing in a good way and I was happy and I had fun playing. Then after that I thought maybe next week’s my big week and I can’t go on playing just losing.”
It seemed the “big win” would lift her spirits. But she has returned to the brink of depression ever since.
“It was not a huge win for me. I was not happy. I didn’t believe it was going to happen at that point,” she said, after winning the fourth major of the year. “After I won it, I was happy for a day and then I was like ‘f*** it’.
“All I was thinking about was tennis — because I won Wimbledon, this is the Grand Slam of tennis now. I have lost my job, but I can’t think about that. When I think about my job, I only think