"Well I think I'm ready": Uncertainty still surrounds Rybakina ahead of Wimbledon title defence

Sunday, 02 July 2023 at 23:30
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Elena Rybakina, defending champion at Wimbledon, expressed concerns about her physical condition shortly before the tournament begins.
Despite being considered a top contender for the third Grand Slam of the year due to her impressive performances on grass, Rybakina has had a less than ideal preparation for Wimbledon. She only played one tournament at the Grass Court Championships Berlin, where she was eliminated in the second round by Donna Vekic.
Following that, the Kazakh player withdrew from the Eastbourne Open to prioritize her recovery from a virus she contracted at Roland Garros, which continued to affect her in Berlin. Rybakina revealed that she spent several days in her hotel room and admitted that she does not feel 100% ready to start the tournament:
“Of course, the preparation we did, I would say it was good, but still not the amount of hours and work we wanted to put in. But overall I think we did maximum what we could. It wasn't easy after French Open because it took me -- I mean, one week I didn't do anything, then slowly start. It's been tough,” Rybakina said.
The 24-year-old tennis player said she feels ready for her participation in the tournament, but she hopes to play more matches on grass to feel more confident:
“Well, I think I'm ready. Of course, a lot of good players. First round is not easy always, so I think the preparation we did is good enough. Hopefully with every match I'm going to feel better,” she said.
“Yeah, important just to start and then we see how I feel. Yeah, I think if I'm going to get matches more on grass, I will feel more confident, of course,” claimed Rybakina.
Rybakina will make her debut against American Shelby Rogers, with whom she has a head-to-head record of 3-2 in favor of the Grand Slam champion
“We played a couple times. Two times on grass, I think. She's tough player. She also serves well. She's trying to play aggressive, so it's going to be not an easy one. We know each other pretty well. So yeah, I'm going to try to do my best, of course. We see how it's going to go.”

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