Current Ranking: 5

W/L: 46-13

Titles: 2 (Indian Wells, Rome)

Grand Slam Record: 13-4

WTA Finals Appearance: Debut

Best Result: NA

If you felt Elena Rybakina came out of nowhere to win the 2022 Wimbledon title, you’re not alone—so did she. The surprise run, coupled with the event being stripped of its rankings points, caused the reflective 24 year-old to wonder whether she was truly a top player, and her win was nothing more than a happy accident. Her 2023 has changed her mind.

It started with a run to the Australian Open finals where she beat Iga Swiatek in the fourth round—Rybakina is 3-0 against her this year—and lost a seesaw slugfest to Aryna Sabalenka for the championship. She then claimed her first WTA 1000 title of her career in Indian Wells, dropping just one set and beating the top two seeds, Swiatek and Sabalenka, in the semis and final.

It was her first win over Sabalenka (she had been 0-4) and her first title since Wimbledon the previous summer.


Rybakina won two WTA 1000 titles this year, in Indian Wells and Rome.

Rybakina won two WTA 1000 titles this year, in Indian Wells and Rome.

Rybakina backed that title up by nearly completing the rare “Sunshine Double. She lost in the final in Miami (to Petra Kvitova), but posted an 11-match win streak that included beating the three top-ranked women. She later took her second WTA 1000 in Rome on clay, and reached a career-high No. 3 ranking in June. An illness forced her to withdraw from Roland Garros in the third round, and her season never seemed to fully recover.

She lost in the quarters of Wimbledon (in a rematch of last year's final to Ons Jabeur) and hasn’t made it past the semifinals in four subsequent tournaments.

The stoic Rybakina prefers to keep her emotions in check, celebrating wins with a tepid fist pump and wry smile. In a recent interview, she admitted that it wouldn’t hurt to show her opponents more outward fight when things aren’t going her way. But feeling that she belongs in the conversation with the best players in the world is no longer an issue.

Yonex VCORE 100 2023

Yonex VCORE 100 2023


Grab Rybakina’s Gear

Yonex VCORE 100 2023 ($259) (Purchase now at

The 6-foot Rybakina can overpower opponents with her formidable serve and groundstrokes, and her VCORE 100 is the type of racquet that immediately gives strokes an infusion of energy. With its thick, variable beam, medium-firm flex, and spread string pattern, it’s designed to produce deep, spin-centric ground strokes without the need for a seismic swing.

The franchise has always hung its hat on easy spin production, and this latest generation is the friendliest yet. The softer flex than previous versions gives the frame a plusher response and improved command. Yet, it still maintains respectable stability for its weight. Play bully ball, grind down opponents or climb the doubles ladder, it’s a frame that appeals to a variety of players and styles.