In just over a month after winning her maiden grand slam title, Kazakh Elena Rybakina said it was a “pity” that she does not feel like the Wimbledon champion because of the absence of rankings points at the tournament.
In normal circumstances, the 23-year-old would have earned 2,000 ranking points for lifting the Venus Rosewater Dish that would have pushed her world ranking up from her current 25th and left her in prime spot to qualify for the year-end WTA Finals.
“It was my dream to win Wimbledon,” Rybakina told reporters in New York on Friday ahead of the U.S. Open. “It’s (a) pity. I feel like actually I’m not the Wimbledon champion.”
The men’s ATP and women’s WTA stripped Wimbledon of ranking points after its organisers decided to ban Russian and Belarusian players from the 2022 grasscourt grand slam in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
Rankings determine a player’s ability to enter tournaments and receive seedings.
“I don’t think that it’s fair. Of course, we cannot change it. It was a decision (made) before,” she said. “I’m talking not only about myself, but just generally I think with all the decisions, many players are paying for all these decisions.
“In one tournament I go and play against the greatest champion, (Garbine) Muguruza, and we play on Court number four. This is kind of like (a) question for me.”
Moscow-born Rybakina blamed a “bit weak” leadership in sport for the situation regarding ranking points and said that it was players who were made to pay the price.
“I’m not surprised that in the end of the day we had many examples when (the) player is actually young and they did amazing results but in the end decides to quit tennis,” she added.
“So this is (the) question. Like, why is it happening? I think that something should be improved. This is something we have to talk more (about).”