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HomeSports‘..Other Players Are Too Angry’ - WTA Star Elena Rybakina Makes Mental...

‘..Other Players Are Too Angry’ – WTA Star Elena Rybakina Makes Mental Tactics Evident in an Honest Chess-Like Parallel to Tennis

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Javier Garcia/Shutterstock 14001532km Elena Rybakina during her third round match Wimbledon Tennis Championships, Day 6, The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, UK – 08 Jul 2023 Wimbledon Tennis Championships, Day 6, The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, UK – 08 Jul 2023 PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxHUNxGRExMLTxCYPxROUxBULxUAExKSAxONLY Copyright: xJavierxGarcia/Shutterstockx 14001532km
Two-time Grand Slam champion Elena Rybakina sees similarities between her sport of tennis and the strategic game of chess. In a recent appearance in the Mind Set Win podcast with host Cedric Dumont, the Kazakh tennis star drew parallels between the two disciplines. The chess-like elements of tennis have served Rybakina well in her young career.
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Through meticulous scouting and an ability to adjust her game plan mid-match, she pulled off one of the biggest upsets at Wimbledon 2022. As a 17th seed with minimal grass court experience, few expected her to defeat favorites and reach the title match, let alone win it.
Elena Rybakina finds similarities between tennis and chess
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Rybakina explained that tennis demands strong technical skills, which can make it difficult for older players or beginners to pick up. However, she noted the mental aspect of out-thinking opponents is what engages her.
“I think it’s a game where, like most of the people say, it’s like a chess but active chess, you hit the ball, you need to know what your opponent is gonna do. I think it’s a very interesting sport. It’s not easy, technical sport. That’s why maybe for the people who just likes tennis and they’re older and they want to start, maybe it is a little bit difficult for them just because of the technique part. But overall, I think it’s a just amazing sport, because anything can happen. You play against the opponent. And it’s really like a chess. But on the court,” she stated.
Rybakina’s steady demeanor and tactical nous allowed her to analyze opponents’ weaknesses under pressure. She dismantled Ons Jabeur’s game in the final to lift the Venus Rosewater Dish, proving that her mental fortitude matched her formidable athletic gifts.
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Strategic thinking sets her apart
Rybakina’s calm exterior stems from years of learning to compartmentalize emotions on court, a quality she continues refining. In the same podcast, she noted: “Maybe other players are too angry or showing too many emotions, they work to become calmer. For me, it’s the opposite.”
By drawing parallels between tennis and the cerebral game of chess, Rybakina highlights the strategic thinking required for sustained success in her sport. Her ability to out-think opponents under pressure through meticulous preparation places her among the game’s most complete competitors. Fans can expect her chess-primary approach to serve her well in future Grand Slam battles.
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