Elena Rybakina reveals she only started practicing professionally at 17 and that's probably to blame for some of the injuries she is experiencing now. Rybakina, who turned 24 in June, sustained unspecified injuries in Montreal earlier this month.
After Montreal, Rybakina made the decision to compete in Cincinnati but she was forced to retire midway through her round-of-16 match. “All my injuries are a result of becoming a professional tennis player at a relatively late stage of my career.
Not many people know that I started practicing professionally around the age of 17. Before that, I only practiced within groups," Rybakina told redbull.com.
Rybakina was introduced to tennis when she was five but there were responsibilities in her life other than tennis. "I didn’t have a private coach.
I also went to school and had to balance it. My fitness level couldn’t be at the highest point. So I think a few injuries I am now experiencing are coming from the past. I also needed to know how my body works. But it is like it is, you cannot control it.
There are a lot of changes in tennis,” Rybakina explained.
Rybakina hopes for a much better US Open this year
Rybakina, the 2022 Wimbledon champion, suffered a shock US Open first-round loss to Clara Burel last year.
This year, Rybakina kicked off her US Open campaign with a 6-2 6-1 statement win over Marta Kostyuk.
Now, Rybakina feels more experienced and hopes for a better run at Flushing Meadows.
“Last year was not easy for me. There was a lot of attention on me as a person. New things were happening around me. I needed to understand all this and I didn’t have a good preparation for the US Open. This time I feel more experienced, I know what is expected of me. It’s much easier so that gives me a good and positive feeling," Rybakina said.
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