‘We won Wimbledon’ – Russia trolls tournament chiefs after Elena Rybakina success
Wimbledon were the target of some trolling from the Russian Tennis Federation on Saturday, as they declared they won the tournament.
Elena Rybakina beat Ons Jabeur to win the women’s singles final, becoming the first player from Kazakhstan to win a major.
Rybakina, though, was born in Russia and her parents still live in Moscow, creating an awkward situation for Wimbledon who banned players from Russia and Belarus for the 2022 tournament.
Predictably, Russia did not miss the opportunity to claim Rybakina as their own and rub it in the faces of the tournament’s organisers.
“It’s very nice that we won Wimbledon,” Shamil Tarpishchev, who is the president of the Russian Tennis Federation, told RIA Novosti.
The spectre of Rybakina’s heritage appeared to be looming over Centre Court as she won match point against Ons Jabeur.
It was definitely a muted and almost surreal atmosphere, and she herself did not celebrate as might be expected.
Whether or not that was due to her being concerned about the reaction is something only she can know, but she insists her heritage should not be an issue as she stopped representing Russia long before the crisis in Ukraine.
“I’ve been playing for Kazakhstan for a very, very long time, representing them at the biggest tournaments, at the Olympics, which was a dream come true,” she said.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen. I mean, there’s always some news, but I cannot do anything about this.
“From my side, I can only say that I’m representing Kazakhstan. I didn’t choose where I was born. People believed in me.
“Kazakhstan supported me so much. Even today I heard so much support. I saw the flags. So I don’t know how to answer these questions.”
Wimbledon should not have any similar problems for the men’s final, which will be contested by Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios.
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