Elena Rybakina 'casually says' she intends to play in Doha qualifying this weekend
by DZEVAD MESIC | VIEW 20550
2023 Australian Open finalist Elena Rybakina has seemingly confirmed to Reem Abulleil that she is indeed intending to play in the Doha qualifying event this weekend.
Rybakina, the 2023 Australian Open runner-up, rose to a career-high ranking of No 10 following her great Melbourne run. But when Rybakina was signing up for Doha, she was ranked just outside the top-20.
Had a fun chat with Rybakina today in Abu Dhabi (stay tuned) and it ended with her casually saying that she is playing QUALIES in Doha!!!
She is 4 out apparently.... — Reem Abulleil (@ReemAbulleil) February 6, 2023
Since pretty much every top-20 player signed up to play Doha, Rybakina missed out on the main draw cut for four spots.
As a result, we might be seeing a recent Grand Slam finalist playing in the qualifying of an upcoming WTA 500 event.
My God, Doha’s WTA 500 list is absolutely RIDICULOUS with just two top 20 players missing (Sakkari and Halep).
Rybakina, Krejcikova, Azarenka, Andreescu, Fernandez, Muguruza & more in… qualifying ð¤¯ð¤¯ pic.twitter.com/2Grvfabuiz — José Morgado (@josemorgado) January 28, 2023
Rybakina won't be missing out on main draw cuts anymore
Now that Rybakina is a top-10 player, she is guaranteed to have a main draw spot wherever she signs up to play. But when Rybakina was asked about reaching the top-10, she suggested it was just a number.
"I don't think tomorrow I'm going to feel different just because of the ranking now. But, I mean, for sure it's going to be different on the smaller tournaments, I would say. I'm going to be seeded. Maybe in some tournaments I'm not going to play first round.
So of course there is some benefits out of this. But for sure I don't really look for the numbers ranking so much," Rybakina said after the Australian Open final. Meanwhile, Rybakina reaching two Grand Slam finals in a short period has helped her land new sponsors and there is also a growing interest in tennis in Kazakhstan.
"Big arenas and big performances take a lot of energy and at such moments, your support is so pleasant. I feel that with every tournament, there is a growing interest in tennis in our society, and it is a great honor for me.
My words of gratitude for the support are addressed to each of you. I thank my team, and my new sponsors represented by bank RBK @bankrbk, KAZ Minerals Group @kazminerals_official and Kazakhmys Corporation @kazakhmys_official for believing in my strength and unwavering support. Thank you," Rybakina wrote in her latest Instagram post.