A look at Elena Rybakina’s performance in 2022
23-year-old Kazakh player Elena Rybakina stunned the tennis world when she emerged victorious at the 2022 Wimbledon Championships. Let’s take a look at all the good and bad results she has achieved in the last season.
Elena Rybakina had a good start to the season when she reached the final at the Adelaide International Tournament. She eventually lost to Ashleigh Barty in straight sets. Rybakina continued playing in Sydney and had another good result when she defeated then-reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu in the first round. Rybakina subsequently retired during their second round match due to a hamstring injury.
She would have hoped to improve on her best result at the Australian Open. At the 2020 edition of the Grand Slam event, Rybakina reached the third round. However, her dreams went up in smoke when she was forced to retire in her second-round match against Zhang Shuai, trailing 6-4, 1-0. She also gave a walkover ahead of her round of 16 duel with Tereza Martincova.
The season, which started on a high, slowly turned into a nightmare due to injuries. At the Qatar Open, Rybakina lost to unseeded Jaqueline Cristian in the round of 16.
Rybakina found some form at the BNP Paribas Open when she reached the quarterfinals of the Masters event with wins over Alison Van Uytvanck, Victoria Azarenka and Viktorija Golubic. Rybakina eventually lost to sixth seed Maria Sakkari.
At the Miami Open, 17th seed Rybakina was edged out in the round of 32 by 16th seed Jessica Pegula. Rybakina again struggled with form and consistency as she was eliminated in the round of 16 at the Charleston Open and in the round of 16 in Stuttgart.
The Kazakh number 1 has moved into the French Open after two eliminations in the round of 16 at the Madrid Open and the Italian Open. Until then, Rybakina’s best result came at a Grand Slam at the French Open. In 2021, she had made it to the quarterfinals and was hoping to turn her fortunes at the clay-court major. That was not to be as Rybakina lost to Madison Keys in the third round.
Third-placed at the Libema Open, Rybakina didn’t make it past the round of 16. The sad run continued at Eastbourne as they lost in the round of 16.
Wimbledon triumph and back to indifferent form
Judging by her recent results, not many gave Elena Rybakina a shot at the sport’s most prestigious Grand Slam.
Rybakina, however, shut out the outside noise and went on a marauding run that won her first four games in straight sets.
Rybakina managed a sensational comeback win against Ajla Tomljanovic in the quarterfinals. The 17th seed won the match 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. She followed it up with a stunning straight-set win over two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep in the semifinals.
In the grand final, Rybakina faced a red-hot Ons Jabeur and the odds were in the Tunisian star’s favour. However, Rybakina was determined to make history and she rebounded from one set to win the match 3-6 6-2 6-2. She had a win rate of just 24 on the first serve. It was Rybakina’s steely determination that was her best friend throughout the encounter.
The Moscow-born talent became the youngest champion since Petra Kvitova won the title in 2011. She also made history by becoming the first Kazakh player to win a Grand Slam title.
After the spectacular Wimbledon campaign, Rybakina had a tough time at the Silicon Valley Classic. She lost to Daria Kasatkina in the first round after winning the first set. At the Canadian Open, Rybakina defeated Marie Bouzkova in the first round but lost to Coco Gauff in the second.
In Cincinnati, Rybakina did better and reached the quarterfinals, but again lost to Madison Keys. The US Open campaign was a disaster as the 25th seed dropped out in the first round.
Rybakina finally got a final score at the Slovenia Open when she reached the final. Her campaign ended in a loss to doubles No. 1 Katerina Siniakova.
After being eliminated in the round of 32 at the Japan Open, Rybakina made it to the semifinals in Ostrava, where she lost to Barbora Krejcikova. Rybakina’s season ended in a round of 32 loss at the Guadalajara Open to Jessica Pegula.
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