ASTANA, Kazakhstan, Feb. 1, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- The Kazakhstan Tennis Federation is delighted to congratulate Elena Rybakina on earning herself a top-10 world ranking debut as of today. After a tough match, Elena Rybakina yielded the championship to the fifth seeded, Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus in the final of the Australian Open with a 4:6, 6:3, 6:4 score in three sets. The tennis players spent almost 2.5 hours on the court.
"I want to say thank you to my team for the great job that we've done during the pre-season and over the past 3-4 years. Thank you to my coach, my family, sponsors. President of our Kazakhstan Tennis Federation […], thank you so much for the support", Elena Rybakina said.
Bulat Utemuratov, President of the Kazakhstan Tennis Federation, commented on Elena's performance:
"Thank you to Elena for once again giving it her all with her impressive tennis performance and for representing the successful development of tennis in our country. Reaching the finals at the Australian Open is in itself a sign of continuous growth and quality. Throughout the course of the tournament, Elena managed to defeat the leader of women's world tennis, Iga Swiatek, and other strong contenders from the top-20 rankings, three of which are Grand Slam winners. It is clear that Elena is feeling increasingly confident on different types of surfaces, intelligently adapting her tactics depending on her opponents, and improving her game. Hopefully, this great performance at the Australian Open will mark the start of a very successful year of play for Elena."
This Australian Open was a historical moment for Kazakhstan, which has been heavily investing in the development of tennis in the country. This year, the Federation celebrates its 30th year anniversary. Among other areas of focus, in recent years it has been working on nurturing junior talent that could take the country to the next level on the international tennis arena in the future.
On the support for women in tennis, Bulat Utemuratov added:
"Elena's performance at the Australian Open is also another important step for tennis in Kazakhstan, and especially the women's game. We're focused on growing the sport at the grassroots level, with girls in every age group performing strongly. Along with our professional tennis players and their achievements, we would also like to recognize the young female juniors who participate in ITF Juniors, ITF World Tennis Tour, ATF Juniors, Tennis Europe and other tournaments as well as in Grand Slam tournaments (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, US Open)."
A few days ago, Albina Kakenova became a finalist of the Australian Open 2023 Asia-Pacific Elite 14 & Under Trophy tournament. Last year Albina finished No.1 in the Asian Under-14 rankings, winning a total of four ATF Juniors tournaments. Zhibek Kulambayeva and Gosal Ainitdinova competed in the semi-final of ITF W40 tournament in India.
In addition, three female judges from Kazakhstan served at Wimbledon for the first-time last year. One of them, Yulia Ignatchenko, became the first judge from Kazakhstan to earn the 'Silver Badge' of the chair umpire.