Amid Outrage Over WTA’s Bizarre Experimentation, Serena Williams’ Former Coach Backs Elena Rybakina as Blatant Injustice Rears Its Ugly Head

Published 09/24/2023, 8:36 AM EDT

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Elena Rybakina, one of the top seeds, has once again critiqued the WTA! But this time it’s not about the late-night finishes or the match scheduling. The 2022 Wimbledon champion went against the WTA over her recent concerns at the upcoming WTA 500 tournament in Tokyo. Although the Kazakh star might have started this fight alone, she has now found support in the tennis world.

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Recently, Serena Williams‘ former coach, Rennae Stubbs, backed the world number five-ranked tennis star and made a clear statement about who the WTA might have gone against among the top-seeded tennis players.

Serena Williams’ former coach supports Elena Rybakina’s stand against the WTA

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Recently, the 24-year-old tennis star went against the WTA over the introduction of performance byes at the upcoming Japan Open. The Kazakhstan tennis player is clearly unhappy with the decision-making process after receiving her draw for the tournament. She raised her concerns regarding how she did not receive the privilege of having a bye in the starting round, even after holding the fifth rank in the ranking order.

Rybakina took a sarcastic jab on social media and wrote, “Performance bye. Thank you for changing the rules last moment. Great decisions as always @wta.”

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Even after being seeded higher than Maria Sakkari and Caroline Garcia, she was quite shocked to see how they received the bye in the first round. But, she will begin her campaign from square one against Linda Noskova.

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Looking into that, Serena Williams’ former coach took to her Twitter account to share her take on the controversy. She wrote, “I agree 100% with Rybakina! You pick your own schedule. You know what you’re risking, seeds should not be hurt for not playing the tournament the week before.”

Other than the former Australian tennis player, tennis influencer Rachel Stuhlmann has also come in support of the former Wimbledon champion in the ongoing Tokyo draw controversy.

Tennis influencer Rachel Stuhlmann supports Rybakina

The 5th-ranked tennis player made her opinion very clear on how she disapproved of the WTA’s experimental draw selection method. After she shared her opinion, Rybakina received support from the tennis influencer, Rachel Stuhlmann, regarding how, even though the idea was nice, it was poorly executed, thereby creating chaos. Along with that, she also argued that revoking the 24-year-old tennis star’s rightfully earned bye, something that she has worked on for the whole year, was not the appropriate move.

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She wrote, “Wtf lol. The intention behind the idea of “performance bye” is nice, but poorly executed. Idk what the answer is, but it’s not taking the bye away from the # 3 seed (who earned the bye),”

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Nevertheless, what is your take on the ongoing Rybakina controversy? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Written by:

Pratishtha Prakash

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Pratishtha Prakash is a Tennis writer at EssentiallySports. She has completed her Bachelor’s degree in Mass Media and Journalism from MIT ADT University, Pune. Being a sports enthusiast, she has been following varied sports like tennis, cricket and Esports from her childhood.
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Edited by:

Tony Thomas

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