Tennis Prose



My Interview With Kazakhstan Sports Outlet About Rybakina At AO23

A major sports outlet in Kazakhstan requested to interview me about Elena Rybakina and her conquest to win the 2023 Australian Open. Here is the interview…

Questions for Scoop – Did you watch the match between Rybakina and Azarenka? What are the impressions?

Scoop Malinowski: It was a very impressive win by Rybakina, Azarenka was superb all tournament and came in top shape and motivated to win the title. I noticed her laser focus terminator mindset in the first round win vs Kenin. But she ran into what looks like an unbeatable, unstoppable player right now in Rybakina.

Q – What do you think about the tennis that Elena demonstrates at the Australian Open 2023?

SM: Rybakina looks like she can become the dominant player of the sport for years if this is what she really wants. But she has a unique aura demeanor that conveys that winning Grand Slams is not life and death to her as it is for Rafa, Novak, Serena, etc. She won Wimbledon and there was no joy or celebration at all. So it appears Rybakina is playing this level of incredible tennis with just her B game! Or maybe her casual aura is all a bluff? Rybakina is a very interesting champion who if she stays focused and motivated with tennis can become the best of her era.

Q – How do you feel about the fact that some journalists and fans hate this tennis player because of her Russian origin?

SM: I don’t think fans hate Rybakina because she’s Russian but the anti Russian media bias is trying to villainize her for being Russian. Just like the media tried and failed to villainize Novak Djokovic for rejecting the vaccine and also because the establishment prefers and favors Federer and Nadal to own the Grand Slam record, not a Serbian who is not a puppet. Rybakina is an admirable great champion, well behaved with a lot of class and super talent. I believe tennis fans appreciate and admire her despite the media agenda.

Q – In your opinion, Rybakina had the right to choose for herself a few years ago the country for which she prefers to play? – Why, for example, when Ayla Tomlyanovic, a Croatian by birth, plays for Australia, everyone perceives this as normal, but here it is a completely different attitude?

SM: Again, the media has an anti Russian bias, this has been in effect for decades with the propaganda and agendas. Tomljanovic gets a free pass because the media has no agenda against her, Croatia or Australia. Also because Tomljanovic is probably not a threat to be an elite top 5 WTA player.

Q – What, in general, is the attitude towards Rybakina in the USA, in your opinion?

SM: Rybakina is still a bit of a mystery figure in USA. The media ignored her Wimbledon win. The US tournaments after Wimbledon put her on small courts and not the big stadiums she earned. But through the injustice she has carried herself with class and dignity. I think the American public respects and admires her very much. She is a great champion. Let me also add that the American media and big sponsors also ignored Sofia Kenin after she won the Australian Open in 2020. Kenin is Russian born and raised in America since she was less than a year old.

Q- Do you think she can win her second Grand Slam tournament now?

SM: Yes, I see Rybakina winning the 2023 Australian Open though she is 0-3 career vs the other finalist Aryna Sabalenka, all three set matches in 2019 and two in 2021. It will be a thrilling final of power tennis with two dynamic players with contrasting charismas.

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  • catherine · January 27, 2023 at 1:17 am

    It’s odd – we seem to have missed a generation in women’s tennis: Kenin, Andreescu, Osaka. All GS winners. Will they be back ?

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 27, 2023 at 8:51 am

    Catherine, Kenin has been progressing back up into the top 150 from outside 400 and she looked really good vs Azarenka in 1R but Vika was in terminator mode at her best, Vika came to win the title, top shape and really wanted it. So it was not a bad loss. I see Kenin getting back up to relevance. Bibi also surely has some last hurrahs left. Osaka and Bouchard are finished sadly, for different reasons.



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