By Shrivathsa Sridhar
MELBOURNE, Jan 28 (Reuters) – Elena Rybakina will become the first Kazakh tennis player to enter the top 10 singles world rankings after her run to the Australian Open final on Saturday, making up somewhat for the points she missed out on in her Wimbledon triumph last summer.
But the Russian-born player said the lift would not change her.
“I don’t think tomorrow I’m going to feel different just because of the ranking now,” she told reporters.
Rybakina, who switched allegiance to Kazakhstan in 2018, was beaten 4-6 6-3 6-4 by Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka in the Melbourne Park final and will rise to number 10 in the world from number 25 when the rankings are updated on Monday.
Kazakhstan Tennis Federation president Bulat Utemuratov said reaching the final was a feat in itself after Rybakina defeated three Grand Slam champions along the way in Iga Swiatek, Jelena Ostapenko and Victoria Azarenka.
“It’s clear that Elena is feeling increasingly confident on different types of surfaces, intelligently adapting her tactics depending on her opponents, and improving her game,” Utemuratov said in a statement.
“Hopefully this great performance at the Australian Open will mark the start of a successful year of play for Elena.”
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