Rybakina says she feels confident on all surfaces

MOSCOW (Reuters): Australian Open finalist Elena Rybakina says she feels confident playing on all surfaces and enjoys adapting to the demands of the game.

The 23-year-old world number 10, who is most at home on hard surfaces, won her first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon last year after beating Ons Jabeur in the final of the grasscourt major.

“I feel pretty well on all surfaces, and for me, it’s actually also fun to change the surface; that’s the beauty of the sport, to adapt all the time,” Rybakina, who was born in Russia but represents Kazakhstan, told Eurosport.

With her run to last month’s final at Melbourne Park, where she lost to Aryna Sabalenka, she became the first Kazakh tennis player to enter the top 10 in the singles rankings.

Rybakina said she was not successful on grass during her junior career but has improved over the years.

“I feel confident on the grass, which I actually never thought I’m going to be that good on,” Rybakina said.

“Because as a junior I played maybe one or two times and it was not successful so when I started to work with my coach I said I don’t really like grass, I don’t know how to play on it. “But in the end, it’s for now my best achievement. My first WTA trophy was on clay, so I think I can play on all surfaces.”