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Rybakina Hits Back at Criticism of Coach Stefano Vukov

By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Monday January 30, 2023

During Elena Rybakina’s matches at the 2023 Australian Open, there was a lot of criticism directed at her coach, Stefano Vukov, for his demeanor and the perceived negativity he directed at his player during competition.

Tennis Express

Rennae Stubbs and Pam Shriver were among those critical of Vukov’s treatment of his player, and many on social media joined the fray.

This tweet from Shriver got a lot of support on social media, but also some resistance, most notably from Dmitry Tursunov, the current coach of Belinda Bencic. Shriver's original tweet is below.

Rybakina, the eventual runner-up who made her Top-10 in Monday’s rankings, had taken to social media to hit back against the commentary.

“After a great AO, I have seen some disturbing comments on social media about the behaviour of my coach Stefano Vukov,” Rybakina wrote on Instagram, calling the criticism “misinterpretation.”

“I want to clarify any misinterpretations. Stefano has believed in me for many years, before anyone else did. We plotted a strategy together in how I could achieve great things and his method shows in my Grand Slam success so far. He is a passionate coach, with a lot of knowledge about tennis.

“Unlike people that are making these comments, he has great knowledge about me as a person and as an athlete. Those who know me well, will know that I would never accept a coach that didn’t respect me and all our hard work. I may be quiet on court and in general, but inside me is a competitive athlete that wants to achieve great things and Stefano has helped me greatly in this way. So please disregard any fake news to the contrary.”