Elena Rybakina tells how she used to travel alone to junior tournaments

Rybakina, 24, not a stranger to traveling by herself.

by Dzevad Mesic
Elena Rybakina tells how she used to travel alone to junior tournaments
© Getty Images Sport - Alex Pantling

Elena Rybakina reveals she is not a stranger to traveling alone since she used to do that frequently when she was a junior player. Rybakina, who turned 24 in June, is now one of the best players in women's tennis and has a team that travels with her regularly.

But before turning pro, Rybakina used to travel by herself to junior tournaments. Reflecting on that, Rybakina believes that experience helped her learn discipline. “I was traveling a lot alone when I was younger. Usually when you come to a junior event or some other events when you're like 15 or 16, you're traveling with a coach or your parents.

I was traveling alone. You have your friends, but they're with their coaches or parents. So I don't know. I think this actually helped me to be disciplined," Rybakina said on the Mind Set Win podcast.

Rybakina on battling doubts

On the same podcast, Rybakina candidly opened up on how she felt in the months after her 2022 Wimbledon win.

In 2022 July, Rybakina lifted her first Grand Slam title at The All England Club. Throughout the entire 2022 Wimbledon, Rybakina was playing great and deservedly won the title. However, many still found it surprising since Rybakina wasn't really considered among the top favorites for the 2022 Wimbledon title.

Because of that, Rybakina started asking herself if she was really that good or if her Wimbledon win was just pure luck. "It wasn't easy to overcome this win. Of course after winning a title you're like 'Wow. I hope it wasn't by mistake or by luck.'

In my case it was a bit different because I didn't get the points. On the rest of the tournaments and in another big Grand Slam, I didn't feel like I was a top player. It's a lot of expectations from you, a lot of people looking at you, waiting to see what you're going to do on your next tournament.

At the same time, you're not treated as a top player because you didn't get the points. I'd say this period wasn't an easy one, to be honest," Rybakina said on the same podcast. This year, Rybakina made the Australian Open final and also won two WTA 1000 titles. Later this month, Rybakina will also be making her WTA Finals debut in Cancun.

Elena Rybakina