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“You wanted to see emotion ? Kept it too long” smiles tearful Rybakina hours after her Wimbledon non-celebration
Having stayed calm throughout the match, the emotions began to flow when Rybakina discussed her parents
Elena Rybakina revealed she simply “didn’t know what to do” as she clinched her first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon on Saturday.
The 23-year-old, who beat Ons Jabeur 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 to become the first Kazakh player ever to win a Grand Slam singles title, puffed out her cheeks when the Tunisian’s backhand sailed long on match point, but instead of falling to the court, or leaping in the air, she just walked to the net, quietly.
“I’m always very calm,” she said. “I don’t know what should happen. When I was giving a speech in the end I was thinking, I’m going to cry right now, but somehow I hold it. Maybe later when I’m going to be alone in the room, I’m going to cry nonstop. I don’t know.”
I don’t know what should happen. When I was giving a speech in the end I was thinking, I’m going to cry right now, but somehow I hold it.Elena Rybakina
Rybakina is famous for barely celebrating any match wins but triumphing at Wimbledon, by the biggest victory of her career, might have brought out her emotions. Not a bit of it.
“I mean, I didn’t know what to do,” she said. “It was shocking. I don’t know, maybe because I believe that I can do it deep inside. But same time it’s, like, too many emotions. I was just trying to keep myself calm.”
“I don’t know. Maybe one day you will see huge reaction from me, but unfortunately not today.”
Rybakina was “too stressed out”
In her first slam final, world No 23 Rybakina admitted she was feeling the nerves, especially in the first set when Jabeur broke her twice to move ahead.
“Not going to lie. Today I was too stressed out,” she said. “I think I didn’t enjoy it as much as I should maybe. I enjoyed more semi-final (against Simona Halep). I don’t know why. I played also very well that match.
“I think that I’m going to enjoy for sure maybe tomorrow, maybe when everything, like, is going to be calm. I’m going to be around my close friends, family. For sure this I’m going to remember all the memories on this day for sure. But, yeah, for now it was stressful..”
But as Rybakina discussed everything from her switch from Russia, where she was born and raised, to Kazakhstan nationality in 2018, to the £2 million prize money she had earned and to her parents, the realisation began to sink in and the tears began to flow.
“They always believed in me,” she said of her parents, who still live in Russia. “They believed just first they wanted me to play and have fun on the court, which I always had. After, when it was tough moments, they always believed in me.
Probably they’re going to be super proud.Elena Rybakina on her parents, before flooding into tears
“Probably they’re going to be super proud,” she added, the tears beginning. “You wanted to see emotion,” she said, though the tears. Kept it too long.”
With her parents unable to come to the match, Rybakina said she would celebrate with her friends and team.
“I have no idea (how she will celebrate) honestly because we worked a lot to be here, where I am right now. But it’s so unexpectable these two weeks, what happened,” she said. “It was such a tough match mentally and physically, so in the end I was just super happy that it finished. In this moment I just didn’t believe that I made it.
“I don’t know. But for sure I’m going to celebrate with my team, with my friends and family.”