Rybakina is one of the best female tennis players in the world. In June 2023 she reached a career-high ranking of world No. 3.
With five career titles, including the 2022 Wimbledon ladies’ singles Grand Slam, Rybakina is known for her hard hitting (righthanded) tennis style and her extremely calm behaviour on court. This showed during and after winning Wimbledon in 2022. Read all her latest news below in the headliners.
Birthday: June 17, 1999
Birthplace: Moscow (defected to Kazakhstan)
Height: 1.84m / 6′ 1″
Rybakina turned Pro in 2016
Instagram of the Kazakhstani Athlete uses Lena as first name (@lenarybakina)
Born in Moscow, Russia on the 17th of June, 1999, Rybakina represented Russia until 2018 before switching to represent Kazakhstan around the same time she had broken into the world’s top 200.
As a junior, Rybakina impressed, rising as high as number three in the world rankings and reaching two Grand Slam semi-finals.
The most remarkable fact about Elena Rybakina surely is that she never received any individual tennis training in her youth. Her parents were always convinced that school needed to come first. Only after becoming a pro at 17 years old, her individual training sessions started! This probably makes her the player with the highest margin of progress of all professional WTA players. The same fact also meant that she remained under the radar of the Russian Tennis Federation, making her switch to Kazakhstan an easy choice.
Making her WTA Tour debut at the Kremlin Cup in October 2017, Rybakina would suffer a first-round defeat to Irina-Camelia Begu.
Her next WTA Tour event would come a few months later in February 2018 at the St. Petersburg Trophy and Rybakina would defeat Timea Bacsinszky and world No. 7, Caroline Garcia to secure her first wins before losing in the third round.
Rybakina’s senior Grand Slam debut would come at the 2019 French Open. Progressing through the qualifying process to reach the first round, she would ultimately be defeated by Kateřina Siniaková 6-7, 1-6.
Her first WTA Tour title would come a few months later at the Bucharest Open. After upsetting second seed Viktória Kužmová during her run, Rybakina would defeat Patricia Maria Țig in the final.
Following up on that breakthrough success, Rybakina would have a stand-out year in 2020. Reaching five finals during the year, including victory at the Hobart International, she would break into the world’s top 20 for the first time in her career.
Rybakina would reach the first Grand Slam quarter-final of her career at the 2021 French Open with a run that included arguably her biggest win to date as she defeated Serena Williams in straight sets to reach the last eight before falling to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in a three-set thriller.
At the Tokyo Olympics, Rybakina lost out in the bronze medal match to Elina Svitolina but her continued progression saw her rise into the world’s top 15 for the first time, becoming the first Kazakhstani to do so.
In 2022, Rybakina’s career-defining moment came at the Wimbledon Championships. Straight-set wins over CoCo Vandeweghe, Bianca Andreescu, Zheng Qinwen and Petra Martić saw Rybakina into the last eight. From there a hard-fought, three-set win over Ajla Tomljanović was followed by a 6-3, 6-3 victory over former Wimbledon winner Simona Halep in the semi-finals and a win over Ons Jabeur where Rybakina had to come from a set down on centre court to claim the title.
After winning the Wimbleodn title she walked off the court smiling, shook hands with Jabeur, shortly applauded the crowd, waved the racket and sat down calmly on the chair. This made BBC LIVE commentator John McEnroe jokingly say "Didn't even react when she WON Wimbledon!" Rybakina herself told later that her main thought afterwards was 'feeling tired and happy that a tough match against amazing opponent (Jabeur) was finished". In her press conference she showed her down to earth style again telling the press room she never thought of playing tennis for money, but eventually the emotions became too much when asked about her parents, with one fan reacting "the mixture of both sweet sentiments of her parents and her ability to add humor into her outpour of emotions was just amazing".
Elena Rybakina continued her impressive form in 2023, reaching the final of the Australian Open, defeating world number one Iga Swiatek in the process before losing out to Aryna Sabalenka in the final despite winning the first set.
Rybakina’s first WTA 1000 title came at the 2023 Indian Wells championship where she again defeated world number one Iga Swiatek in straight sets to reach the final before this time avenging her Australian Open loss by defeating Aryna Sabalenka in straight sets to win the title. A win in Rome later on helped her break into the Top 5. On 12 June 2023, she achieved her career-high ranking of world No. 3
Elena Rybakina’s coach is Stefano Vukov. He is a former Croatian tennis player who played in various ITF Men’s World Tennis events as well as the ITF Futures Tour. Vukov, known for his analytic prowess, has been instrumental in the development of Rybakina’s game. They began their professional partnership at the beginning of 2019 and have been working together since then.
Read all the latest news about Elena Rybakina