Skip to main content


Rybakina upset with arduous schedule at NBO: 'I feel destroyed'

Elena Rybakina Elena Rybakina - The Canadian Press

Elena Rybakina is not pleased with how her National Bank Open unfolded.

The third seed from Kazakhstan lost to 15th seed Liudmila Samsonova of Russia 6-1, 1-6, 2-6 Sunday afternoon in a semifinal originally scheduled for Saturday.

Rybakina had already faced a difficult schedule this week due to numerous rain delays in Montreal.

That includes a three-hour 27-minute marathon against Daria Kasatkina of Russia that wrapped up close to 3 a.m. local time on Saturday morning from which she says she's still recovering.

"Definitely I feel destroyed just because of the scheduling and the whole situation," Rybakina, who grabbed her shoulder a number of times on Sunday, told reporters.

"I'm not really happy about it, but yeah, it is what it is. Unfortunately, players cannot do much in these situations. The decision is not really ours. Weather was not helpful.

"So I picked up some injuries I would say, but we tried to manage it and see how we will go from that."

Rybakina says after the match against Kasatkina finished she showered, did some stretching and went back to the hotel — where she fell asleep around 5 a.m.

She says she then woke up at 10 a.m. and wasn't able to fall back asleep to get a proper recovery.

Rybakina said it's an experience she's hoping she won't have to go through again and pointed the finger at the women's tennis tour.

"It's the first time and hopefully the last time because I think it's been a little bit unprofessional from the — I cannot say really the tournament because I think that the most important is the WTA here," she said. "Leadership is a little bit weak for now, but hopefully something is going to change because this year it was many situations which I cannot really understand."

Rain on Thursday pushed two round of 16 matches to Friday.

As a result, the tournament scheduled five matches on centre court Friday with play starting at 12:30 p.m., the first three of which went three sets.

Rybakina's match didn't start until 11:26 p.m.

Beyond losing the semifinal — something she says she wasn't very disappointed about because "it was kind of expected" — Rybakina says it won't be easy to recover over the next two week ahead of the U.S. Open beginning Aug. 28.

"Now I have to see how I feel and evaluate the small injuries which I have now, so we will see (if my planning changes)," she said. "I have to be smart in making any decision because U.S. Open is soon."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 13, 2023.