Kazakhstan Billie Jean King Cup team captain Yaroslava Shvedova has announced that Elena Rybakina is dealing with a back injury. Rybakina, ranked at No 4 in the world, last played at the WTA Finals in Cancun, where she openly complained about the court conditions and tricky weather.
On Thursday, Kazakhstan kicked off its Billie Jean King Cup Finals campaign in Seville with a 1-2 loss to Australia. Rybakina didn't play against Australia and Kazakhstan team captain Shvedova was asked for an explanation. "Yeah, the facility and everything, like, what happened in Cancun, I think everyone knows already, like, how they prepared everything and what was going on in there.
It was not in a good way for the players, and a lot of players came injured and unwell after that tournament. So she's one of the few players who was struggling after the tournament and having some issues in her back. Hopefully it will heal soon, and she'll be on track again and even better," Shvedova said of Rybakina's absence.
Rybakina came to Seville with a back injury
The conditions in Cancun were far from perfect and Rybakina ended up contracting a back injury. "I think the conditions are tough. I don’t feel like I can show everything I have on the court.
You’re kind of limited with the things you can do with such conditions. I feel like if you have a tight game on your serve, you can be stressed with a rally when you don’t know how the ball is going to bounce. You don’t know what to expect.
Not much is under your control," Rybakina said in Cancun. After picking up a back injury, Rybakina was unable to help Kazakhstan against Australia. In the absence of Rybakina, Anna Dalinina lost to Storm Hunter before Yulia Putintseva defeated Kim Birrel to tie the match to one win apiece.
In the deciding match, Danilina and Putintseva lost to Hunter and Ellen Perez. It remains to be seen if Rybakina will be available against Slovenia.