2022 Wimbledon Champ Elena Rybakina intends to enjoy defending her title

Just last summer, Kazakh tennis pro Elena Rybakina showed brilliant defense and remarkable calm to win her first-ever Grand Slam final – and she did it on the storied grass of Wimbledon. Now, the current WTA number 3 returns in the attempt to become the first woman to take back-to-back championships on that hallowed ground since Serena Williams in 2015-16.

Rybakina flew under the radar to capture that 2022 triumph, and she proved it was no fluke when she again leveraged her powerful serve to finish runner-up at the initial Grand Slam of 2023, the Australian Open. But a setback came in May, when illness forced her to withdraw at Roland Garros. The 24-year-old says the disappointment has only increased her motivation to succeed at Wimbledon.

No longer an underdog, Rybakina understands that the pressure will be different against the tough women’s field at Wimbledon this year, but a strong support team and hard work on her net game have bolstered her confidence. With grass being perhaps her favourite surface, and Wimbledon being the only Grand Slam still played on grass, she describes her strategy with a smile: to put herself in “enjoyment mode” and savour her love for the game.

Still & Moving images for editorial use:  Red Bull Content Pool