‘Excited, But Scared’: Olympic Champion Ready for Her Comeback at the Australian Open 2021

Published 01/24/2021, 3:30 AM EST


Four-time Grand Slam doubles tournament champion Elena Vesnina was on maternity leave since November 2018. After two years, the 34-year-old Russian is excited to make her comeback at Australian Open 2021.

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Known as an all-court player, the reigning Olympic doubles champion has mixed feelings about her return. Even though Vesnina has been training for this, she knows that a Grand Slam is more than just preparations.

“It’s very exciting,” Vesnina said, “It’s been so long, almost two years since I’ve been on the court to play a match. It’s so different from practicing, and so I’m a little bit excited, but also scared and worried at the same time.”

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However, she won’t be alone in Australia. Her daughter, two-year-old Elizaveta Pavlovna Tabunstova, will also travel with her for the Grand Slam.

Elena Vesnina to fly with daughter for Australian Open 2021

Sofia Kenin of the United States poses with the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup after her Women’s Singles Final match against Garbine Muguruza of Spain> on day thirteen of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on February 01, 2020, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

The 2016 Wimbledon semifinalist is confident about her game in the current deck of top players. Moreover, Elena wants her daughter to see her play.

“I’m looking forward to being able to fly with Liza, to show her what mama is doing, and to compete again. I still feel like I have some gas in the tank, and that I can do it,” the Russian added.

Moving ahead, she even clarified her stance on retirement. For now, the 34-year-old is only looking to make a sound come back to the sport.

“When I no longer feel this way, I’ll stop immediately,” Elena said. “But right now, I feel like I’m ready and this is what I want.”

To benefit the players, Tennis Australia has organized wholesome events before the Australian Open 2021 begins. Next to that, Elena will challenge the defending champion Sofia Kenin for Australian Open glory.

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Other tournaments in Melbourne Park, Australia before the Grand Slam

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 19: A ballboy on the court during a match between Michaella Krajicek of the Netherlands and Ana Ivanovic of Serbia during day four of the 2012 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 19, 2012, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Lucas Dawson/Getty Images)

A couple of  ATP 500 and 250 tournaments will run simultaneously in Melbourne Park. They will begin on January 31 and will run till the February 6.

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Consequently, nations with top-ranked singles male players will compete for the ATP Cup 2021, starting February 1. All these tournaments will lead to the first Slam of the year, which is scheduled to commence on February 8.

Additionally, a WTA 250 will take place amid the major tournament between 13 – 19 February. To conclude, this will give ample amount of match preparation for tennis players before the ‘Happy Slam’.

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Purav Joshi

966 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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