'Didn't Feel Like I Was Top Player': Rybakina Admits To Struggles After Wimbledon Win

'Didn't Feel Like I Was Top Player': Rybakina Admits To Struggles After Wimbledon Win

Elena Rybakina has lifted the lid of living through the experience of being a Grand Slam champion last summer.

The tall Kazakhstani blasted her way through the draw at last year's Wimbledon, dropping just two sets, to wrap up her maiden Grand Slam crown. Winning a major title is always accompanied by instant fame and high-ranking rise.

In addition to that, the baggage of expectations pile up, with media and fans' scrutiny reaching unprecedented levels. For Rybakina, the situation was a little bit different.

Last year, Wimbledon did not award ranking points to the players in light of the ban imposed on Russian and Belarusian players from competing there.

To protect the integrity of the ranking system and player participation without discrimination, tennis' governing bodies were left with no choice but to strip off ranking points at Wimbledon.

Regrettably, Rybakina missed the full 2000 points that a champion normally receives - and her projected rise into the world's Top 10 was delayed.

Speaking on the Mind Set Win Podcast, the Kazakh has now shed light on how that decision impacted her life, adding that it was a difficult period battling external expectations, but simultaneously being perceived differently.

In January, Rybakina had stated that she was unperturbed by missing out on ranking points at last year's Wimbledon when quizzed on whether she should have been ranked higher.

But it looks like she didn't want to dwell on the matter right before the Australian Open. It felt like an asterisked Grand Slam win, with Rybakina revealing she was not treated as a top player at the events she played thereafter.

"It wasn't easy to overcome this win. Of course, after winning a title you're like 'Wow. I hope it wasn't by mistake or by luck.' In my case, it was a bit different because I didn't get the points. On the rest of the tournaments and in another big Grand Slam, I didn't feel like I was a top player."

"It's a lot of expectations from you, a lot of people looking at you, waiting to see what you're going to do in your next tournament. At the same time, you're not treated as a top player because you didn't get the points. I'd say this period wasn't an easy one, to be honest."

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