Elena Rybakina feels like she’s ‘not the Wimbledon champion,’ says life as champion ‘not the greatest’
Ivan Dodig says it was “a long time of hard work” that culminated in his win over Elena Rybakina in last month’s final. (Courtesy of Alex Gouron)
The last three weeks have been a roller coaster of emotions for Ivan Dodig.
On the week before Rybakina’s victory at Wimbledon, Dodig was dropped by a head coach who said Dodig could no longer play tennis in the American top 10.
A fortnight before Rybakina won Wimbledon, Dodig was taken to a hospital for an MRI, which had shown no significant structural damage.
“I’ve been playing in the top 10 for ten years, I’ve had to keep playing to keep my job,” Dodig said with a bitter laugh Wednesday over lunch in Manhattan with a reporter. “You have to go through all these things to get to the big stage. At some point you’ve got to fight. At some point all the top players get old. Everybody says, ‘Why are you still the same person and why do you keep playing in the top 10? It’s not good for you.’ But it’s not good for me to go on and lose to these people. I’m not the Wimbledon champion and I’m not the top player. I’m in a different league. They’re the ones who have won Wimbledon, but they don’t want to play in the top 10.
“It’s tough to go through all the changes when you get dropped by your coach and you have to fight and work hard to get reinstated. I’m not the Wimbledon champion. That’s the first thing. It’s the last thing to try and get to the second, third, fourth, fifth, then sixth, then seventh, then you’re in the final and you have to fight to get to the finals. And that’s a long time. You have to keep fighting and working towards that. You can’t get out of there. If