Elena Rybakina admits she “didn’t enjoy” Wimbledon final victory as she reveals battle with nerves

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·2-min read
Elena Rybakina admits she “didn’t enjoy” Wimbledon final victory as she reveals battle with nerves
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Elena Rybakina became a Grand Slam champion for the first time with victory in the Wimbledon final but she revealed nerves almost derailed her bid.

The 23-year-old lost the first set against Ons Jabeur after an erratic display, producing 17 unforced errors, but she found her rhythm and got things back on track to win 3-6 6-2 6-2 on Centre Court.

Both Rybakina, born in Moscow but representing Kazakhstan, and Jabeur were appearing in a Grand Slam final for the first time and the Wimbledon champion admitted she found the occasion difficult to deal with.

“Not going to lie, today I was too stressed out,” Rybakina said.

“I think I didn’t enjoy it as much as I should maybe. I enjoyed more the semi-final. I don’t know why, I played also very well that match.

“ I think that I’m going to enjoy for sure maybe tomorrow, maybe when everything is going to be calm. I’m going to be around my close friends, family. For sure this I’m going to remember all the memories on this day for sure. But, yeah, for now it was stressful.”

Those nerves perhaps explain Rybakina’s muted reaction to her success. As a Jabeur backhand flew long to bring up victory, Rybakina greeted it with a celebration more fitting of winning a point in practice.

Ons Jabeur joked in her post-match press conference that she needed to teach Rybakina how to celebrate, though she’s unlikely to find much success should she try.

“I’m always very calm,” Rybakina said. “When I was giving speech in the end I was thinking, I’m going to cry right now, but somehow I held it. Maybe later when I’m going to be alone in the room, I’m going to cry non-stop.

She added: “It was shocking. I don’t know, maybe because I believe that I can do it deep inside.

“But at the same time it’s too many emotions. I was just trying to keep myself calm. Maybe one day you will see huge reaction from me, but unfortunately not today!”

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