WTA players forgot to congratulate Elena Rybakina on Wimbledon title


When a player wins a Grand Slam, our social media feeds are flooded with messages of congratulations from fellow athletes, the media and tennis organizations. Going through our Twitter and Instagram feeds the morning after Elena Rybakina’s victory over Ons Jabeur in the Wimbledon final, we are noticing that the WTA players are awkwardly silent to congratulate the new champion.

elena rybakina wimbledon champion

Unfortunately, Rybakina’s Wimbledon success has been accompanied by political controversies. The 23-year-old, born and raised in Moscow, in 2018 took up the citizenship of Kazakhstan for financial benefit and support and has now become the first Kazakh player — male or female — to win a Grand Slam.

Since Russian and Belarusian players were banned from playing this year’s Wimbledon, Rybakina’s victory is seen as a slap in the face to Wimbledon organizers as in the end a player of clear Russian origin won the tournament even though on paper she is Kazakh and has constantly been repeating that she has been representing Kazakhstan for a long time — given her young age, four years is indeed a long time from her perspective.

Whether these political issues have affected WTA players, or there may be some other reason, but Rybakina’s Tour colleagues have remained strangely indifferent towards her Wimbledon success. For example, when Caroline Wozniacki won the 2018 Australian Open, dozens of WTA players were quick to congratulate her.

Rybakina is not getting that type of recognition. A few exceptions include tennis legend Billie Jean King, world No.1 Iga Swiatek, as well as retired champions Ana Ivanovic and Gabriela Sabatini, who praised Rybakina for her career milestone.

Victoria Azarenka‘s behaviour is the most interesting. The Belarusian, banned from playing Wimbledon 2022 because of the earlier-mentioned sanctions, congratulated only the runner-up Ons Jabeur, saying: “One of the best things that happened to tennis is Ons Jabeur. Keep shining and sharing your light with the world! Biggest inspiration to so many!”

Moreover, among Azarenka’s liked tweets is this one:

With brands and tennis events the situation is much better. Rybakina’s sponsor Adidas, whose Parley London Dress the champion wore en route to the trophy, congratulated her on Instagram, and so did numerous tournaments including the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic, St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy, Miami Open, and the Australian Open.


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Why do you think the majority of the WTA players didn’t feel the need to congratulate Rybakina? Why did other players’ Grand Slam triumphs make them more emotional and ready to share their feelings on social media?

If we skipped to mention a WTA player who did congratulate Rybakina, please let us know in the comments below.


  1. She is a low-key, quiet player who I feel doesn’t make much of an effort to associate with other WTA players, so not surprising to me. But Azarenka’s reaction perplexes me. If you are going to mention the runner up, you might as well “throw a bone” to the winner.

  2. Jim, I’ve figured that she’s an introvert, but players don’t congratulate only their friends on social media. I find it strange that almost nobody took a minute to say something about her victory. Despite Rybakina not being very active on social media, she should have received more recognition.

  3. Elena Vesnina congratulated her via telegram. She said she knows Rybakina since junior perioad and happy that she won. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, although didn’t post anything, liked the WTA post on IG that celebrated Rybakina’s winning.

  4. Marija, did I see Novak give Jelena Jankovic a hug in his box after winning Wimbledon? Congrats to Nole BTW for a flawless performance today. Nick was playing well and Djokovic had to play his best to win. I hope and pray he is allowed to play the US Open.

  5. Slava won the doubles championship with Vania at Wimbledon. She would have been the first Kazak champion.
    Ons Jabeur is perhaps the most popular player among other players. Most players were supporting her.
    Most players and countries are against the Russian war and invasion of Ukraine. War, war crimes and killing of innocents is not politics.

  6. Jim, yes JJ was there. https://www.tennisforum.com/threads/empress-jj-at-the-men%E2%80%99s-final.1394511/#lg=thread-1394511&slide=3 I also hope he will be able to play the US Open. Tonight in Belgrade there will be a big welcome for him in the center.

    JohnnyB, Kazakhstan really made a good investment, that’s for sure. I noticed that most players were supporting Ons Jabeur, but still, they could have congratulated Elena Rybakina. Wars are the worst thing that can happen, they destroy societies, the environment, and the aftereffects are felt for generations. What are wars if not politics? The people affected by it, on both sides, only suffer and wish the war to end.

  7. Pure an simple jealousy! Elena is tall, extremly likable (people do like her), too bautiful and a very good player and she just won a Grand Slam title!
    Is pure jealousy. The geopolitical situation is just a pretext, many players are signed for other countries and she went to Kazakhstan because she didnt’t received the support from the Russian federation, so she is not somebody with ”connections”. Also, she started to prepare at a high level later than most of the players.
    being very shy and introvert she needed a win to start trusting herself and this is very obvious, her talent. in AO she beated Emma Raducanu 6-0, 6-1. She worked her way to this award, beating other Grand Slam winners. She fully deserved her award, it was not an easy path, with the draw she had!
    US is activelly trying to attract Russian scientists, other specialists to the point they make special legislation as to facilitate their move to US, why Kazakhstan is any different? It is not about this, it is about her, as she is also very talented and has a great tennis future ahead, hope to see more wins from now on, she is a very nice person for sure.

  8. Also, Novak congratulated Nadal for winning the AO this year, with all the controversy and not so nice words Nadal spoke about him. Now… I don’t see congratulations for Nole either.
    Passive aggressive behaviour for this year winners, bitter competitors

  9. Unfortunately this is women’s tennis for you. Have you noticed how the vast majority of handshakes at the net are quite brief and frosty in women’s games compared to the men? Men are a lot more warmer to each other. The women just need to grow up.


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