“Like Djokovic saying Nadal is tougher opponent than Federer” – Fans react to Elena Rybakina dubbing Aryna Sabalenka tougher opponent than Iga Swiatek

Iga Swiatek (L), Elena Rybakina, Aryna Sabalenka (R); Rafael Nadal (left inset), Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer (right inset). PHOTOS: GETTY
Iga Swiatek (L), Elena Rybakina, Aryna Sabalenka (R); Rafael Nadal (left inset), Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer (right inset). PHOTOS: GETTY

Tennis fans gave their thoughts on Elena Rybakina dubbing Aryna Sabalenka the tougher opponent than Iga Swiatek for her. Rybakina is currently in Paris for a shot at the women's singles title at the 2024 French Open.

Rybakina will lock horns with Belgium's Greet Minnen in the first round on Monday, May 27, at Stade Roland Garros to kick things off. She has won both of her prior matches against the Belgian so far.

When Rybakina sat down with the media ahead of the French Open, a journalist promptly asked her to compare the level of difficulties in playing against her close rivals Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka. In response, she suggested that the Belarusian was a tougher opponent to face.

"Well, I would say Aryna. We play a lot of tough matches, and she's very aggressive. She has good power. And with Iga I feel like I have more dominant in the, just, game by my power over Iga... With Aryna, it's tougher," she said.

The Kazakh's comment has divided the tennis fans on X as some of them challenged the viewpoint whereas another bunch agreed to it.

"This is like Djokovic saying Nadal is a tougher opponent than Federer," a fan wrote referencing Nova Djokovic's head-to-head record of 27-23 over Roger Federer being better than the one against Rafael Nadal (30-29).

One fan, on the other hand, supported Elena Rybakina's rhetoric, writing:

"Saba [Sabalenka] does seem to be a tougher opponent than Iga for Ryba [Rybakina]"

Here are a few more reactions from X:

"Oh Elena, you'll change your mind soon," a fan stated.
"I hope Iga will make her regret those words next time they meet," a fan claimed.
"This is the truth I respect it," a fan commented.
"And the H2H proves it. Iga>Aryna>Elena>Iga. It's basically a rock paper scissors between the 3 of them," a fan remarked.

Elena Rybakina has promising head-to-head record against Iga Swiatek, trails Aryna Sabalenka

Elena Rybakina
Elena Rybakina

Elena Rybakina's assessment of Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka as opponents for her might have some substance in it as she has a promising record over the Pole but not so much against the Belarusian.

Thus far, Rybakina has been able to register four wins in six matches against Swiatek, whereas, managed only three victories in nine on-court battles with Sabalenka.

In more recent times, this trend continues to show in Elena Rybakina's numbers against her two rivals as she defeated Iga Swiatek in the semifinals of the 2024 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. But her meeting with Sabalenka in the Madrid Open semifinals ended differently.

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