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‘Great Decisions as Always’ – Elena Rybakina Takes a Sarcastic Jibe at WTA as ‘Last Moment’ Rule Change Leaves Her in an Unfavorable Spot

Published 09/23/2023, 10:13 PM EDT

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Things haven’t been going the way of Elena Rybakina at the moment. After the highs of winning the Wimbledon Championships last year and reaching the Australian Open final this year, she was expected to dig deep at the US Open earlier this month. However, she bowed out of the tournament in the third round, losing against Sorana Cirstea in a heart-breaking three-set defeat. Now, another disappointment has hit Rybakina, just hours before playing her first match since the US Open defeat.

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The Kazakh star is in Tokyo to participate in the Toray Pan Pacific Open. The WTA implemented a new rule, which impacted her competition plans. The unhappy 24-year-old subsequently hit back with a sarcastic response.

Elena Rybakina is not happy with the last-minute WTA rule change


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Recently, the WTA introduced performance byes. It aims at giving players who had good performance in the previous week a bye instead of awarding byes according to the rankings. As a result, Rybakina, who was awarded a bye earlier on account of being the third seed, had it canceled after WTA decided to implement the new rule in Tokyo at the last moment.

via Reuters

Rybakina took to Instagram to vent her frustration at the WTA. Posting a story on her official Instagram handle, she said, “Performance bye. Thank you for changing the rules last moment. Great decisions as always @wta.” Rybakina’s loss was Caroline Garcia’s gain. The latter, who reached the semifinals in Mexico before losing against Maria Sakkari, will receive a bye at the Pan Pacific Open instead of Rybakina. Thus, Sakkari and Garcia, who are the fourth and fifth seeds in Tokyo, will have byes ahead of Rybakina.


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The Kazakh player’s tryst with WTA hasn’t been the smoothest in recent months. Last month, she was caught up in another unfavorable situation due to the Women’s Tennis Association.

Rybakina’s match went on till 3 AM in Canada

The 24-year-old tennis star’s quarterfinal clash at the Canadian Open went till 3 AM in the morning. In a marathon three-set match against Daria Kasatkina, Rybakina managed to win that match after giving her all on the court. However, she had little time for recovery. As a result, wasn’t at her best in the semifinals, losing against Liudmila Samsonova. Even the former World Number 1, Iga Swiatek slammed the WTA for the unruly scheduling of matches.


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Up next, Rybakina will face Linda Noskova in the opening round of the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. Can she overcome the unfavorable situation and dig deep in Tokyo? Let us know your views in the comments below.

WATCH THIS STORY: Despite $500,000,000 Earnings Together, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova’s Unwavering Commitment to Tennis Rises to the Fore as Emma Raducanu Gets Real Advice

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Written by:

Vatsal Shah


One take at a time

Vatsal Shah is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. With a Bachelor's degree in engineering, he is a die hard fan of tennis and sports in general. He is an ardent follower of Rafael Nadal and is inspired by his never-say-die attitude.
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Edited by:

Mitali Dey