“She's angry and will now bulldoze Iga Swiatek” ; “Kinda don't get this outrage” – Tennis fans react to Elena Rybakina calling out WTA on Tokyo draw

Iga Swiatek (L) and Elena Rybakina.
Iga Swiatek (L) and Elena Rybakina.

Elena Rybakina's recent outrage over the Tokyo Open draw invited mixed reactions from tennis fans on the internet.

The Tokyo Open has awarded performance byes to players in its main draw. As per the WTA standards, such a bye is awarded to players based on their performances in the week preceding the tournament.

In the Tokyo Open draw, Maria Sakkari and Caroline Garcia automatically qualified for the second round based on their performances in the Guadalajara Open. Garcia lost to eventual champion Sakkari 3-6, 0-6 in the semifinals.

On the other hand, Rybakina will start her campaign against Linda Noskova in the first round despite being the third seed. The Kazakh expressed her discontent over the tournament's decision with a post on social media.

"Performance bye. Thank you for changing the rules last moment. Great decision as always," she wrote in her address to the WTA.

Rybakina's post drew mixed reactions from fans on social media, as some understood her grievances with the tour while others defended the performance byes.

A user on X (formerly Twitter) wrote:

"I kinda don't get this outrage. Like, you'll be playing just... the normal amount of matches? Not even in Canada (and that was a real circus) she looked this mad."

Another user chimed in stating that the performance byes can compensate for the poorly designed schedules on tour.

"Of all the byes, performance byes are probably the only justified byes imo. Especially given how all over the place (quite literally) the calendar is. Byes in general shouldn't exist, and expecting/demanding one is weird to me, ngl," the user tweeted.

One fan backed Rybakina to use the anger to her advantage.

"She’s fired up!! The rest of the tour is not ready for Elena winning everything for the rest of the year," they wrote.

Another fan hoped the World No. 5 would beat Iga Swiatek, writing:

"Great she's angry and will now bulldoze Iga [Swiatek] we are TIRED."

Here are a few more reactions:

Elena Rybakina defeated Linda Noskova in their only contest to date

Elena Rybakina during a practice session: 2023 French Open
Elena Rybakina during a practice session: 2023 French Open

Elena Rybakina and Linda Noskova have played against each other only once so far. The duo battled in the second round of the French Open in June.

Rybakina registered a comprehensive victory in straight sets over Noskova and advanced to the third round. However, the Kazakh pulled out of the tournament before her next match due to illness.

Both players exited early from the recently concluded US Open. Noskova fought hard against Ons Jabeur in the second round but failed to march past the Tunisian. Elena Rybakina lost to Sorana Cirstea in the third round.

Noskova will be hoping to level her head-to-head record against Rybakina when they meet in Tokyo on Monday, September 25.

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Edited by Arshit Garg
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