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‘We Win Wimbledon,’ Says Russian Tennis Chief as Rybakina Shrugs Off Russia Questions

Newly crowned Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina broke down in tears on Saturday after she was again confronted by questions over her Russian roots.

Rybakina, born in Moscow but representing Kazakhstan after switching allegiances in 2018, defeated Ons Jabeur in the women’s final.

Her triumph came at a tournament where her Russian compatriots were banned following the invasion of Ukraine.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s always some news, but I cannot do anything about this,” said the 23-year-old when asked if the Russian government would be tempted to politicize her Grand Slam triumph.

“I’m playing for Kazakhstan a very long time. I represent them on the biggest tournaments, Olympics, which was a dream come true.”

Russian tennis chief Shamil Tarpischev, however, hailed Rybakina’s victory as a triumph for Russia, describing the player as “our product.”

“It’s very nice! Well done Rybakina! We win the Wimbledon tournament,” Tarpischev was quoted as saying by Russian news agency, RIA Novosti.

Rybakina’s parents live in Moscow. She has been reluctant throughout the tournament to elaborate on how much time she spends in the country.

When she was pressed further Saturday and invited to condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin and the invasion, Rybakina pleaded for understanding.

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