Elena Rybakina 'honoured' by Duchess of Cambridge's compliments

·3-min read

Elena Rybakina admitted it was an "honour" to be complemented by the Duchess of Cambridge.
The 23-year-old sportswoman became the first Kazakhstani player to win a major tennis title when she triumphed over Ons Jabeur in the Wimbledon final last Saturday (09.07.22) and she found Catherine to be "very, very nice" when she was speaking to her during the trophy presentation.
She said: "She was very, very nice, and very beautiful actually! She just congratulated me.
"She said that I played really well.
"And then I saw her for the second time after I left the court. And again, she said that I played really well and it’s just an honour to hear these.
"It’s really something special which I will never forget.”
Elena admitted her win was "unexpected" because she didn't think she was in "perfect shape" and hadn't been playing her "best tennis".
Speaking on the 'Reign with Josh Smith' podcast, she said: "My team, my parents, no matter what issues I have or how I feel, they were always supporting me and saying that there are always going to be ups and downs. And you just have to wait and still work because it's going to come.
"And yes, this result it was very unexpected. I knew that I have the game, but I was not sure that I can show it here just because I was always thinking that I have to be in the perfect shape, playing my best tennis to achieve something good and something big.
"I didn't have great preparation, so I cannot say that I was in the best physical shape at Wimbledon.
"And I still think that there are many things to improve and yes, I still won the biggest title.
"So, this is something I should have believed in more to my team maybe earlier. That's also a lesson.”
The tennis player admitted her run in the tournament was a "fairytale" because she'd gone into the competition with low expectations because a run of injuries had blighted her preparations.
She said: "I'm going to remember these two weeks as a fairytale for sure, I think by my reaction you could see that I was just shocked and kind of paralysed because I didn't expect that it was going to happen in these two weeks....
"The first week I enjoyed a lot because I didn't have any expectations. And I was going in the evening to see the city, so it was a really relaxed atmosphere, but then I was getting closer to the semi-final and quarters. I started to get nervous, and every day was more difficult.
"And in the end, I was just happy when the match finished, and I just couldn't believe in that moment.”
Listen to Elena on the 'Reign with Josh Smith' podcast at http://hyperurl.co/i4yxt0 and follow 'Reign with Josh Smith' on Twitter and Instagram @joshsmithhosts.

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