Elena Rybakina - Roland Garros 2024

Elena Rybakina reflects on ‘bad day’ after shock Roland Garros exit

Elena Rybakina has claimed that her ‘legs were not there’, after failing to reach her first Roland Garros semi-final. 

Rybakina was beaten by 12th seed Jasmine Paolini, 6-2 4-6 6-4, with it being the first time that she had lost to the Italian in a completed match.

In this match, Rybakina hit a total of 48 unforced errors and reflected on her performance when speaking to press, “Well, yeah, it’s definitely not the greatest day. She played really well. She started much better. She was moving good.

“I started a bit slow, and she was aggressive from the first ball. Then I was just trying to find my game, which was always I would step back and I was trying to fight through, but in the end, yeah, as you say, it’s not the greatest day in the office. I was close, but she won.”

The 2022 Wimbledon champion added, “Yeah, today definitely was hotter, and the ball was flying much more. I think in the end my legs were not there. No matter which conditions, if it’s slow or fast, I should have been moving better and some decision. A lot of unforced errors. So I’m not, of course, really happy with the performance, but it is what it is. It’s tennis. Not every day you can play good. I will try to take some good things from this match, try to analyse, and just move on.”

It is no secret that Rybakina has had recent struggles with illness, after being unable to defend her title at both Indian Wells and the Italian Open in recent months.

However, the Kazakhstani has still managed to win three titles and reach two WTA 1000 finals this year, with Rybakina admitting that she is ‘really happy’ with her results in 2024.

“I’m really happy with the results,” claimed Rybakina. “I mean, I played so many matches. Also, good wins against top players. Of course, it’s a lot of ups and downs from my side, missing some events. Of course, I would like to play everything, but if the body is on the limit, I cannot do anything.

“For now I’m pretty happy, and if I can continue like this until the end of the year it’s going to be not bad for sure. In the end I just, yeah, need to focus now on the grass season.”

Rybakina will now have a week off, before beginning her grass court season at the WTA 500 tournament in Berlin.

Inside the baseline…

It has certainly been a very up and down year from Elena Rybakina in terms of her health, but when she does play it tends to warrant good results. Although Rybakina will be disappointed to not reach the semi-finals, Jasmine Paolini played very well and was very resilient throughout the match, continuing the Italian’s breakout season in 2024. If Rybakina can stay healthy throughout the grass court season, then it is hard to argue that she is not one of the big favourites for the Wimbledon title, as a previous champion.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.