'He's Trying Just To Help': Rybakina Defends Her Coach After Fan Criticism

'He's Trying Just To Help': Rybakina Defends Her Coach After Fan Criticism

by Jordan Reynolds

Elena Rybakina's coach, Stefano Vukov, has drawn the ire of some fans for his antics, but she has insisted these critiques are not fair.

Rybakina has enjoyed an incredible rise in recent years. This has seen her win the 2022 Wimbledon Championships, reach another final at last year's Australian Open, and claim two WTA 1000 titles.

However, she did suffer a setback at this year's Australian Open. Rybakina lost an incredible second-round match, which involved a marathon tiebreak. This unexpected loss was one of the five biggest upsets of the first week of the Australian Open.

Nevertheless, that setback does not change the fact that the last few years have been successful for Rybakina. This has been done with Vukov by her side, but the Croat has been accused of negative body language and aggressive behavior towards his player.

Rybakina has rejected these claims and, as she says in a recently released video via Canal+, has sought to clarify the nature of her relationship with Vukov and his coaching style.

"This is I think a bad conclusion from the internet like he's overreacting. I think he's just trying to give me a lot of energy. He's got a lot of energy, I will say, compared to other coaches. And I am super calm compared to other players. So I think we are both on the extreme sides and that's why it works well." 

Rybakina also feels that her calm exterior gives some fans a misleading view of her. In reality, she has strong views and can be quite stubborn. This can frustrate her coach at times despite the good relationship she says she has with Vukov.

"I can be quite tough. I don't show it on the outside. Maybe people don't see it, but of course I'm stubborn and I have my opinions. So many times, he asks me something to do, and I don't do it."


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