Elena Rybakina - Indian Wells 2023

Elena Rybakina slams tennis calendar: ‘We are going in the wrong direction’

Elena Rybakina has spoken out against the manic tennis calendar, branding the scheduling of back-to-back two-week WTA1000 events in the lead up to Roland Garros as incomprehensible. 

The scheduling issues that encompass the sport have been at the heart of debate in recent times, and the world No.4 is the latest player to call for change.

A 52 week tennis calendar, with a minimal off-season, can be detrimental to the physical health of the players on tour, but Rybakina believes that the governing bodies are taking the wrong steps to achieve the necessary solutions.

“With the new rule of change, we have a lot of mandatory stuff where you cannot really choose and pick what you want to play,” said the 24-year-old following her quarter-final win at the Madrid Open.

The Kazakh is not convinced that the tournaments in Madrid and Rome, both WTA1000 events, should be played in such proximity to the second grand slam of the year in Paris.

“I think like it was before if we have two weeks’ tournament, Indian Wells, Miami, it’s fine,” she added. “But to make these tournaments like Madrid and Rome also long, and then you have French Open, it’s kind of big events.

“We are kind of in the opposite direction, I think there is a lot to improve in the tour, and I spoke a lot last year. I honestly don’t have much energy to fight through and say my opinion anymore, because it’s not that easy to change something.”

Elena Rybakina has sights set on maiden Madrid title

On Wednesday, Rybakina battled back from the brink against compatriot Yulia Putintseva to book her ticket in the Madrid semi-finals, extending her win streak on clay to 16.

It was an enthralling battle which saw her save two match points and rally from a 2-5 deficit in the deciding set to clinch victory 4-6 7-6 7-5.

The 2022 Wimbledon champion is making a strong claim for herself on clay, and is undoubtedly a strong contender for the title this week, having already scooped three WTA crowns this year.

She eagerly awaits the winner of the ultimate quarter-final encounter between teen sensation Mirra Andreeva and world No.2 Aryna Sabalenka.

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Jerome Coombe, Tennishead Writer, discovered his love for tennis journalism whilst studying languages and playing competitive tennis. He has a vast knowledge of tennis and strives to shed a light on all corners of the sport.