Elena Rybakina flies under-the-radar because of her demeanor, but is a 'sustainable contender' for Grand Slams: Tracy Austin

Tracy Austin shares her views on Elena Rybakina
Tracy Austin shares her views on Elena Rybakina's rise and her chances going forward.

Elena Rybakina is an 'under-the-radar' player as opposed to an underrated player, according to former World No. 1 Tracy Austin. The former American WTA star believes that there are a combination of factors that contribute to Rybakina flying under the radar, with her calm and quiet demeanor playing the biggest role in the same.

However, Austin believes the reigning Wimbledon champion has enough firepower in her game to be a regular contender for Grand Slam titles going forward.

Rybakina's form since the start of 2022 Wimbledon is proof enough that the Kazakh tennis star can beat any player on her day with her big serve and powerful groundstrokes, Austin highlighted. So why does Rybakina not get enough attention as one of the contenders for big titles?

As per Austin, it has to do with the 23-year-old's demeanor and her lack of emotion on the court, as was seen in her quiet celebration after winning Wimbledon.

"It's so tempting for people to ask - Is Elena Rybakina one of the most underrated tennis players? For me, I think it's more under-the-radar because of her demeanor," Tracy Austin said during an analysis on Tennis Channel.
"We know that she kinda has that low pulse, she doesn't show much emotion. When she won Wimbledon, it was kind of a gentle fist pump," the American added.

The 60-year-old further stressed another factor that contributes to the same, which is an element of inconsistency in Rybakina's game. Austin opined that while Rybakina is capable of beating anyone, she can also lose to anyone on a given day due to her high-risk gamestyle.

"The third quality that makes her under-the-radar is that she's a little streaky," Austin continued. "She is so risky in her game style, so you can have days where she's off. Therefore, she can beat anybody on a given day, but she can have these losses to anybody as well. What she has talked about is the desire to be more consistent."

Having said that, Austin further expressed belief in Rybakina's ability to add to her Wimbledon title and become a multiple Grand Slam champion in the years to come. The two-time US Open winner praised Rybakina's work ethic and hunger to win.

"I think that she can actually find that. She's very strong and working hard, she's very hungry. She's won one Major, so why not more? I definitely see that she can be a sustainable contender for Majors in the future," Austin stated.

Meanwhile, Elena Rybakina reached the 2023 Indian Wells semifinals with a hard-fought 7-6(4), 2-6, 6-4 win against Karolina Muchova on Thursday.


Elena Rybakina sets up clash with Iga Swiatek at Indian Wells 2023

Elena Rybakina and Iga Swiatek at the 2023 Australian Open.
Elena Rybakina and Iga Swiatek at the 2023 Australian Open.

Courtesy of her win against Muchova, Elena Rybakina set up a highly-anticipated semi-final against World No. 1 Iga Swiatek at Indian Wells on Friday. Rybakina handed Swiatek a fourth-round loss at the Australian Open en route to the final herself and even beat the dominant Pole in an exhibition event in Dubai late last year.

Ahead of the match, Rybakina admitted that a drop in her level - as was the case in the second set against Muchova - at any stage of her match against Swiatek could prove to be a lot more dangerous.

"If it's gonna be a bit of a drop like today, maybe in the second set when it was very quick, first three games of the second set, then of course the chances are less just because she's No. 1 and she's very consistent, so there is not many margin to mistakes, I will say," Elena Rybakina said in a press conference.

Overall, both players have one win apiece in just two matches against each other so far on the WTA tour. Earlier, Swiatek beat Rybakina in straight sets in Ostrava back in 2021.

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