Tennis - 20 year old Kazakh youngster Elena Rybakina says her goal is to break into the Top 20 of the world rankings in 2020, in an interview to the WTA website. After breaking through in 2019 with a 57-21 record and climbing more than 150 places in the rankings, Rybakina is now ranked No.
36 in the world and says she wants to improve further. "Overall, 2019 was very successful and unexpected for me, as the goal was to finish the year in the Top 80, but now for 2020, my goal is to finish in the Top 20. I can say that my game is aggressive so this is bringing the results.
I have to improve a lot of things, especially my serve, approaches to the net -- and the main thing for me is choosing the right decisions during matches. Definitely, I'm motivated by all of the other young players currently coming up on tour.
It’s a new generation, and for the next years, they are all going to fight for the top." Rybakina says she her approach to trainings has changed in recent times which has led to her improved ranking. "I think I improved my ranking due to different approach to the trainings.
I’m focusing on tennis much more now, and I learned a lot of new things, but I'm still learning. My coach helps me a lot. We played already a lot of tournaments together, and we work on tactics. We improved my technique, and now we are working more on the details -- but not only on the court."
Rybakina has been working with Stefano Vukov since February and says having a full-time coach has helped her immensely. "In my opinion, it's very important to have a coach full time with you -- especially for a young player who doesn’t have enough experience.
Stefano helps me a lot, not only on the court, but off the court, too. I played a lot of tournaments, so we managed to improve some things during the whole year on tour. I’m trying now to play not only aggressive, but also coming forward to the net -- and if I do it correct, it brings results.
His help is very important and the result proves it. During the year, I was working and still work with different fitness coaches. For example, when I am in our base in Bratislava, I’m working with one fitness coach, and when I am at home, I do some fitness also with another.
For half of this preseason, I was in Rome, and I met new coaches, physios and nutritionists who were helping us. All these coaches and physios are helping me a lot. I’m learning a lot of new things from them every time and generally, we are doing similar work, specifically for my body."