Elena Rybakina

‘Wow, this is the next gen’ Wilander praises Rybakina

Mats Wilander was thoroughly impressed by Elena Rybakina and her ball striking as she defeated Serena Williams to book her place in the last eight of the French Open.

The seven-time Slam champion expressed his admiration for Rybakina after she defeated the 23-time Grand Slam champion 6-4, 7-5.

“Elena was unbelievably calm, and I think what helps these younger players is that they serve so good and it puts pressure on Serena it seems these days.” Wilander said.

“She was in control for most of the rallies, served as hard as Serena. She is 6ft tall and moves really well which is the biggest surprise, but she is a great ball striker and the fact she won by staying so calm tells us she will be around for a long time.”

“These young players hit the ball as hard as Serena, so I think they expose Serena’s movement more and especially on a clay court she likes to push off. I think grass is better for her and she got four matches in, now she’ll be ready for Wimbledon next.

Rybakina will play Anastastia Pavlyuchenkova on Tuesday in the final eight in Paris.