Tennis Champion Elena Rybakina’s Reaction to Winning Wimbledon is No More than a Grim Smile
By: Kathy Wu
Everyone’s seen the dramatic reactions of professional tennis players after winning a Grand Slam. Collapsing onto the ground, chucking their tennis racket to the crowd, you get the idea. But this year’s Wimbledon champion, Elena Rybakina of Kazahkstan, had a surprisingly different response. Her reaction to victory is just about as exciting as completing a school homework assignment. (Unless the homework was hard)
“I need to teach her how to celebrate,” said Ons Jabeur, the runner-up. But Rybakina could not hide her emotions anymore. During the press conference when she was asked of her parents, the tears started to come. “Probably, they’re going to be super proud,” she said, struggling to regain composure. “You wanted to see emotion...kept it too long.”
Ranked number 23, Rybakina represents the nation of Kazahkstan but has never lived there for the long term. Rybakina was originally raised in Moscow, Russia, but feels that representing Kazahkstan gives her the fruitful support she needed. “I didn’t choose where I was born,” she explained. “People believed in me. Kazakhstan supported me so much. Even today, I heard so much support. I saw the flags, so I don’t know how to answer these questions.”
There are many reasons for Rybakina’s muted reaction. Maybe she didn’t expect to win because of her lower ranking. We can also conceive that she has a different personality. Finally, we have to take note that Rybakina is only 23, which would be a tremendous amount of pressure for such a young player.
Despite Rybakina’s simple response to winning, her hard work has greatly benefited this wonderful outcome. All of the sleepless nights, personal sacrifices, and difficult decisions; Ask again, “Why was Elena Rybakina’s reaction to winning Wimbledon so unadorned?” The answer is easy. She’s just that good.