Defending Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina comes from behind to beat Shelby Rogers
Defending Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina survives fear as she recovers from set-up to beat Shelby Rogers to reach second round
- Rybakina pulled off a rough month as she came from behind to beat Rogers
- The defending champion admitted she was nervous after not starting well
- However, she eventually fought back to keep her title defense alive
Defending champion Elena Rybakina survived a first round scare as she came from a set down to beat Shelby Rogers to end a tough month.
The Muscovite, who has represented Kazakhstan since her teens, pulled out of the French Open mid-weekend with a virus that also destroyed her grass-court season and saw the world number 3 pull out of Eastbourne last week.
She came here as one of the favorites, but illness and hay fever turned out to be a setback.
An allergy to grass isn’t ideal at the All England Club and Rybakina seemed to struggle as she fell behind American Rogers, who targeted her weaknesses and preyed on her nerves.
“I was a little nervous,” Rybakina said. “I didn’t start very well. I wasn’t moving great. I needed the full set to feel better and start playing my game.’
Defending Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina came from behind to beat Shelby Rogers
Rogers, from the United States, advanced early but was unable to hold the game
Rybakina admitted he was nervous after falling behind with Roger Federer present
But Rybakina rushed through the second set to win 6-1 and then raced ahead an early break in the decider to see what ended as a comfortable win at 4-6, 6-1, 6-2.
She added that her early nerves may be due to the fact that a certain Roger Federer was sitting in the front row.
“Maybe I was nervous about Roger,” she added. ‘Because I really like Roger. It was very special.’
In a wide-open women’s draw, all the big three are in question due to Rybakina’s lack of preparation and the lack of grass court lineage of World No. 1 Iga Swiatek and No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka, the Australian Open champion.
The Belarusian won 6-3, 6-1 against the Hungarian number 82 Panna Udvardy.
There was also a victory for last year’s finalist, Ons Jabeur, on a rainy day in SW19, as the Tunisian won 6-3, 6-3 against Poland’s Magdalena Frech.