Eyebrows have been raised after reigning Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina’s Australian Open tilt will begin out on courtroom 13 at Melbourne Park on Monday.
The 23-year-old Kazakh defeated Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur within the Wimbledon decider final July however earned no factors from the occasion.
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Final season, Wimbledon banned Russian and Belarusian gamers from enjoying on the All-England Membership over their nations’ involvement within the warfare in Ukraine. The ATP and WTA reacted by stripping the occasion of rankings factors.
As Rybakina received the occasion, she would have earned 2000 factors, which means she would have been ranked eighth on the earth if these factors had been added to her tally.
Intriguingly, Rybakina beforehand represented Russia however switched allegiances in 2018 for better monetary assist.
As an alternative, she is ranked twenty fifth heading into the occasion and seeded 22 after some excessive profile absences from the Australian Open.
However forward of her first spherical match on Monday, at present scheduled for 4.15pm, Rybakina will tackle Italian 21-year-old Elisabetta Cocciaretto on Court docket 13 at Melbourne Park.
Cocciaretto is at present in good kind, having made the ultimate of the Hobart Worldwide.
Racquet Journal senior editor Ben Rothenberg queried the thought means of placing a reigning grand slam champion on an outdoor courtroom.
“Reigning Wimbledon champ Elena Rybakina received relegated all the way in which out to the hinterland of Court docket 13 for her first #AusOpen match,” he wrote.
“I perceive there’s a saturation of latest ladies’s Slam champs, to an extent, however has a reigning Wimbledon champ ever been so rapidly disregarded?”
He wasn’t the one one perplexed by the transfer.
Tennis journalist Jose Morgado wrote: “Rybakina on the car parking zone vs. Hobart finalist…”
He later added to Rothenberg’s submit: “She received completely screwed by the pointless Wimbledon.
“Dangerous attracts and small courts each week.”
American sports activities reporter Jacob Cersosimo commented: “I do not know how this occurs however that is WILD!”
The Solar’s assistant sports activities editor Sam Road joked: “You need to see what the Australian Open did with the reigning Wimbledon males’s champion final 12 months.”
Rybakina’s begin to the season has been lower than supreme, profitable simply one in every of three matches throughout two weeks on the Adelaide Worldwide — though that win was in opposition to World No. 11 and final 12 months’s Australian Open runner up Danielle Collins.
And apart from a remaining on the Slovenia Open, Rybakina has struggled, going 13-10 since her Wimbledon triumph.
She has additionally by no means made it out of the primary week of the Australian Open, her greatest a 3rd spherical end in 2020.