Wimbledon: Elena Rybakina’s Persistent Issue Comes to Light in Defense After Serena Williams’ Ex-Coach Turns Honest Critic

Elena Rybakina is roaring loudly at Wimbledon. The Kazakh star entered the tournament amidst a lot of challenges, especially from top-ranked players like Iga Swiatek and Coco Gauff. Yet, her determination and exceptional skill have shone through, carrying her all the way to the semifinals of this prestigious tournament. But, despite her sensational tennis career the 25-year-old Rybakina has struggled to snatch the No. 1 spot from Swiatek. This conundrum has puzzled many fans and analysts alike and Serena Williams’ ex-coach Rennae Stubbs has revealed the reason of what’s holding her back.

Stubbs engaged in a detailed discussion with her co-host Sam Querrey in the July 11 episode of Racquet’s Rennae Stubbs Tennis Podcast. The duo deliberated on topics related to the tennis players, like the transition challenges, the Summer Olympics, and the No.1 Spot in Women’s tennis. In the podcast, Stubbs highlighted the potential that Elena has depicted talent but her inability to clinch the No.1 spot despite her skills is concerning. 

Speaking in the podcast, the former pro said that Rybakina is by far the best player from her perspective. “She was the best player coming in here anyway, even though she’s had a little ups and downs.” The ups and downs can be attributed to Kazhak’s latest run in important tournaments like the Madrid Open and the French Open where she suffered defeats in the semifinal and quarterfinal, respectively. Continuing further, Stubbs pointed out the injury issues that Rybakina has been facing.

“The only thing that stopped Rybakina from getting to number one in the world, in a lot of ways is her physicality. She’s getting injured, and she gets these random illnesses.” Rybakina’s fate seems to have remained against her especially when it comes to her health. The World No. 4 was forced to withdraw from the quarterfinal match against Victoria Azarenka in the Grass Court Championship in Berlin due to abdominal pain. This was not the first time when she failed to keep up her gameplay in important events.

In 2024, Elena withdrew from two important events despite being the defending champion. She pulled out of the Indian Well Masters in March citing a gastrointestinal illness. She had further decided to remain out of the Italian Open due to yet another illness. Stubbs believes that if the 2022 Wimbledon champion can overcome these challenges, she is the best player to compete against. “But if she’s healthy, get out of the way, especially grass and that’s how I feel about her.” This is not the first time when Stubbs has made such statements.

In June this year, the 53-year-old sided with Rybakina as the potential Wimbledon winner. “I think that she is sort of struggling a bit this year with injuries, with sickness. But as far as comfortability on grass and the big serve, if she’s healthy I feel like Rybakina is the player to beat on grass.” The health challenges also seem to trouble Rybakina who dropped a similar hint.

Something can happen…’ Rybakina’s worrisome statement ahead of the semifinals

Rybakina has been on a sensational run in Wimbledon this year. Except for her second-round match against Laura Siegemond, she has won all the matches in straight sets. Her latest win came in the quarterfinal clash against Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-2. However, besides keeping her skills intact, the Kazhak is also aiming to remain healthy. 

Speaking at the post-match conference, the 25-year-old expressed the confidence she is experiencing on grass. “I’m feeling pretty well on the court, especially last three matches,” Rybakina said. “I think I showed really good tennis. Sometimes serve can be off, but then the groundstrokes are really well. I’m playing pretty confident.” However, she pointed towards health woes continuing further. “As we all know, sometimes you wake up and something can happen. Hopefully, nothing is going to happen tomorrow.” 

As the tournament progresses, it will be interesting to see if Rybakina gets challenged further due to her health, or if she can overcome the woes in the remaining portion of her season.

The post Wimbledon: Elena Rybakina’s Persistent Issue Comes to Light in Defense After Serena Williams’ Ex-Coach Turns Honest Critic appeared first on EssentiallySports.

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