"He's gotten a reputation that he can't score in big games": Elena Rybakina compared to Harry Kane as Andrea Petkovic outlines concerns

Sunday, 25 February 2024 at 12:00
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Elena Rybakina had to withdraw from the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships due to gastrointestinal flu, but Andrea Petkovic speaking on the Rennae Stubbs Tennis Podcast has outlined concerns about her workload and drawn comparisons to Bayern Munich striker, Harry Kane in peaking at the right moments for big tournaments.
Rybakina reached the final in Doha and prior to that won Abu Dhabi, but she played three weeks on the spin and it was similar to the start of the season when she played in Brisbane, Adelaide and then the Australian Open. The latter saw an early exit for the Kazakh as she failed to peak at the right moment and seemingly was chasing defending points ahead of Indian Wells over being smart.
"We talked about Elena Rybakina and Rybakina’s scheduling and I wanted to touch back on that because she kind of did it again. Not in the same manner as she did before the Australian Open, but she went on to play every single tournament that was possible in the Middle East and she played great," said Petkovic. "She won in Abu Dhabi, she made the final in Doha and then she had to pull out in the biggest of the three tournaments, the WTA 1000, the one where you do get the biggest points, the biggest prize money, she had to pull out before the quarterfinal with gastroenteritis," Petkovic added.
"That’s bad luck. That’s kind of bad luck but still it’s this theme of playing so well in the tournaments that lead up to the important [tournament]."
This is when the Harry Kane comparison came in with Petkovic said that he is revered as an incredible player, but one that cannot produce at the big moments and Petkovic is now scared Rybakina could be the same. "I’m just afraid of the Harry Kane situation. I said it to you before, Harry Kane, amazing footballer, I love him so much. He scores so many goals and he’s at Bayern Munich now in Germany so that’s why I know this well but he did similar things in England. He’s such a great scorer and then it comes to an important game and he just can’t find the goal and he’s missing big chances and now he’s getting that reputation," she said.
"He’s not that young anymore and he’s gotten a reputation, in England and beyond, that he can’t score in big games. And that’s not exactly true, of course he has scored in big games but that’s just the reputation he has now. And I hope that doesn’t happen for Rybakina," Petkovic added.

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