“Too early to say anything about just three players” – Rybakina on the emerging Big 3 in women’s tennis

The WTA Top 3 are all through to the second round of Wimbledon

Elena Rybakina, Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka Elena Rybakina, Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka Image Credit: Action Plus / Zuma/ Panoramic/ Tennis Majors

Three players have dominated the women’s tour in 2023 – world No 1 and French Open & US Open champion Iga Swiatek, world No 2 and Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka, and world No 3 and reigning Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina.

While tennis pundits and fans may have been quick to anoint them as the new ‘Big 3’ on the WTA Tour, Rybakina feels it may be a little too early for that.

Aryna Sabalenka and Iga Świątek at the 2023 Mutua Madrid Open
Aryna Sabalenka and Iga Świątek at the 2023 Mutua Madrid Open Image Credit: Laurent Lairys / Panoramic

“Well, I hear that only on the press conferences. I don’t follow so much on the Internet,” said Rybakina when asked about the Big 3 after winning her first round match at Wimbledon on Tuesday.

“I think just from the past results people are saying that. There is still a lot of good players. I think it’s too early to say anything about just three players because it’s not like it was Roger (Federer) or (Novak) Djokovic. It’s still too far. That’s why I don’t really focus on that. Anyone still can beat anyone.”

Opening the second day’s play on Centre Court, as has been the tradition for the women’s defending champion and playing in front of Roger Federer in the Royal Box, Rybakina said she is adjusting to the new challenges that come with her elevated status in the sport.

Elena Rybakina and Aryna Sabalenka, Indian Wells 2023
Elena Rybakina, of Kazakhstan, middle, celebrates after defeating Aryna Sabalenka, of Belarus, right, in the women’s singles final at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament Sunday, March 19, 2023, in Indian Wells, Calif.

“As I said, it’s just a new chapter for me, and accepting the challenges. This is the level I want to keep. Of course, I want to go higher. The most important also not to go up quick and then fall quickly. I want to maintain. My team is helping me to also with some kind of pressure, either it’s from outside or just sometimes I can put on myself if I don’t hit the greatest shots. Maybe I don’t feel so good about it. In the end of the day, you cannot always have good days. You never feel 100%, so this is something you need to go through this season.” the Kazakh said.

Rybakina is scheduled to be back on court on Thursday where she will face either French veteran Alize Cornet or Japanese lucky loser Nao Hibino.

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