Elena Rybakina is hoping to play more matches now after recovering from a virus that negatively impacted her at the US Open and took a couple of weeks to recover from it. After suffering a shock round-of-16 loss in Cincinnati, Rybakina also lost in the US Open third round.
This week, Rybakina was scheduled to play in Tokyo but she withdrew late from the tournament. Now, Rybakina is set to play at the China Open in Beijing. In her pre-tournament press conference, Rybakina revealed that the last couple of weeks weren't easy since she got sick. "Well, for sure I'm focusing now just to play a little bit more matches because unfortunately I got sick again, and maybe no one knew it.
Yeah, in New York was tough for me. After that, it was couple of weeks to recover. That's why now coming even to Tokyo, it was not the best for me maybe to play there. Yeah, now I'm just looking to play some matches. Of course, all the focus is going to the WTA Finals," Rybakina said.
Rybakina on returning to China
Rybakina, 24, is playing in China for the first time since 2019. Four years ago, Rybakina made the Nanchang final before losing to Rebecca Peterson.
Also that year, Rybakina made the Wuhan quarterfinal - in which she was beaten by Aryna Sabalenka. A lot has changed since then as Rybakina is now a Grand Slam champion and widely considered one of the best players in the game.
"Yeah, it's been a lot of time back. I think I improved a bit in all the aspects. Of course, I was young and I was just coming up. It was amazing experience for me to play in Wuhan in that time for the first time. Yeah, I think it just changed a lot with experience, overall like making decisions on the court.
Yeah, it's been just a long time. Yeah, I'm happy to be back," Rybakina said. In the Beijing first round, Rybakina plays against Zheng Qinwen.
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