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Wimbledon champion Rybakina hailed for her selfless gesture

Russian-born Elena Rybakina has revealed she rejected a bonus from Kazakh tennis

Moscow-born Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina, 23, has rejected a bonus payment from her adopted country of Kazakhstan after her historic turn on center court at Wimbledon last week, instead telling her Kazakh tennis chiefs to channel the money towards the development of junior players. and maintain animal shelters in the country.

Rybakina scored the most impressive victory of her career in sunny London last Saturday when she beat Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur in three sets to claim her first Grand Slam victory, representing Kazakhstan on the court after changing nationality Russian before his 20th birthday.

The decision, taken several years ago, helped her circumvent Wimbledon’s blanket ban on players from Russia and Belarus. the latest sporting sanction imposed on the two countries following Russian military action in Ukraine launched at the end of February.

But rather than puffing out her pockets a little more after her historic feat at the grass major, Rybakina instead told senior figures from the Kazakhstan Tennis Federation that she wants any financial bonuses she is eligible for to be spent instead. for what she considers. argue causes.

First of all, of course, I would like to help the juniors, most of the money will go to themsaid Rybakina at a press conference in Kazakhstan, via the Astana Times.

And the second important point for me: I was at the animal shelter, and I was very moved by it, so I would like to allocate money for the animal shelter.”

There has been a lot of talk about Rybakina’s change of nationality over the past week. The Moscow-born star, who still lives in Russia, was tempted by an offer from Kazakh tennis to represent them on the world stage after they pledged to support her financially and provide high-level one-on-one coaching.

Speaking at the event, Rybakina doubled down on her decision and said firmly that she has no regrets about adopting a new country of origin in Kazakhstan.

The transition from juniors to an adult professional career is very difficult,” she says. “Besides the fact that you have to have a good team around you, not everyone is able to continue at the professional level and only a few people make it to the top.

I was very lucky in this regard.

We found each other, and in the end, I am very happy that my journey continues exactly with Kazakhstan. The story happens together thanks to Kazakhstan. Thank you very much for your support.”


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