Elena Rybakina revealed she was sick just before her opening tournament of the year and also shared that she had "some unfortunate issues" just before suffering a shock Australian Open second-round exit.
In the opening week of the season, Rybakina won the Brisbane International in style as she destroyed Aryna Sabalenka in the final 6-0 6-3 to win Brisbane. After winning Brisbane, Rybakina also opted to play in the following week at the Adelaide International. In Adelaide, Rybakina won her opening match before Ekaterina Alexandrova upset her in the quarterfinal to snap the Kazakh's six-match winning streak at the start of the year.
Although Rybakina didn't do well in Adelaide, she was still widely regarded among the top favorites for the Australian Open title. But in Melbourne, Rybakina's run ended shockingly early as world No. 51 Anna Blinkova saved six match points en route to edging out the Kazakh 6-4 4-6 7-6 (20) in the second round.
Now, Rybakina reveals she experienced some problems after beating Karolina Pliskova in the Australian Open first round.
Rybakina: I had some issues after my opening Australian Open match
“I started [the season] well, which I didn’t expect because I had quite a short preparation and I was sick right before the tournament,” Rybakina told The National.
“Then in Melbourne it was a tough first round and I had some issues after that match, which was a bit unlucky but that’s tennis. The season has only just started and there is still the whole year, so we will see how it goes.”
Meanwhile, Rybakina is playing her first tournament since the Australian Open at this week's Abu Dhabi. In Abu Dhabi, Rybakina is the top-seeded player and had a first-round bye.
On Monday, Danielle Collins defeated Naomi Osaka and the American will be Rybakina's first opponent in the Abu Dhabi round-of-16. Going into the match, Rybakina owns a 2-1 head-to-head against Collins.