Beaten Rybakina emphasises the positives: “This gives me more confidence”

The Wimbledon champion admits she could have been more aggressive but says Aryna Sabalenka deserved her victory in the Australian Open final

Elena Rybakina, Australian Open 2023 Elena Rybakina, Australian Open 2023 – © AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Shrugging off defeats and moving on is part of being a top tennis player and Elena Rybakina said she would take only positives from her run to the final of the Australian Open.

The Kazakh was a set away from adding the Australian Open title to the Wimbledon crown she won in 2022 but in truth, though she was beaten 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 by Aryna Sabalenka on Saturday, the positives far outweigh any negatives in terms of disappointment and not claiming a second Grand Slam title.

“For sure, that’s the goal, to be in the second week of all the Grand Slam, to play finals,” said Rybakina, who will break into the world’s top 10 for the first time on Monday.

“I mean, now I have more confidence of course even after this final. I just need to work hard, same as I did during pre-season and actually throughout the years, be healthy, and for sure the results are going to come.”

“I would say I’m trying to not think about expectations and everything. Still after a great pre-season like this I was thinking I should show it on the court. Then, of course, the results are going to be there.

“First few weeks was not that great…but I think in the end it’s just confidence to go forward, to keep on working. I feel now good physically also. I know if I’m going to keep on working, the results are going to be (good).”

Rybakina: “I should have been more aggressive”

There was not too much that Rybakina did wrong in the final. She led by a set and was digging herself out of awkward situations on serve, but Sabalenka raised her game in the second and third sets.

“She played really well, aggressive, a bit less mistakes,” she said. “I should have been also more aggressive in some moments. I had some chances, for sure, to turn it around but she played really well today. She was strong mentally, physically. Overall, as I said, it was a good two weeks for me here.”

Perhaps the only thing she needs to improve is her head to head record with Sabalenka, which now stands at 4-0 in the Belarusian’s favour.

“With Aryna now, the score is 0-4. I would say the most challenging (thing) for me is to play against Aryna again and get a win. I would say against powerful player like her, I (need to) improve.”

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