“Kazakhstan player, a tennis periphery, surprised the world.”
Eurosport introduced Elena Rivakina (24, world ranking 25th, Kazakhstan), who is making a sensation in the women’s tennis tournament at the Australian Open, in this way. In the quarterfinals of the women’s singles held at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia on the 24th, Rivakina defeated strong player Yelena Ostapenko (17th, Latvia) 2-0 (6-2 6-4). It was the first time Rivakina had reached the semifinals of her Australian Open. Prior to this, Rivakina caused a stir by beating her top seed, Iga Sibiong Tech (1st place, Poland) 2-0 (6-4 6-4) in the round of 16. Sibiong Tech, which won two major championships (French Open and US Open) last year alone, was a strong candidate for the championship this time.
The main weapon of Rivakina, who is 1m83cm tall, is the strong serve, which can reach 200 km/h. In this event, she recorded a top speed of 195 km/h, the fastest among female runners. Defending champion and male top seed, Rafael Nadal (2nd, Spain), had the highest serve speed of this tournament at 198 km/h. Even in the men’s division, if the serve is 200 km per hour, it is called a ‘gang server’.
Rivakina’s serve is not just fast. He also has the most serve aces in this tournament with 35. It means that the accuracy of stabbing from corner to corner so that the opponent’s racket does not touch is excellent. Experts analyze that Kangsub resembles Serena Williams (42), the ‘Tennis Empress’ who conquered the world with her weapon. Rivakina also won easily against Ostapenko that day, putting the serve at 190 km/h freely where she wanted. Most of all, he was significantly ahead in the serve ace, 11-1. He is also good at dealing with crises. When the first set was suspended for nearly 30 minutes due to rain, the organizers closed the roof of the dome, Rod Laver Arena. Even in the environment changed to an indoor court, he won the victory with calm play. “In Australia, the weather changes all the time. “You must always be prepared for weather changes,” he said. 메이저놀이터
Rivakina was born in 1999 in Moscow, the capital of Russia. He trained at Russia’s prestigious tennis club Spartak during his junior years. However, in June 2018, his first year in full swing on his adult stage, he changed his nationality from Russia to Kazakhstan. This is because the Kazakhstan Tennis Association promised economic support, such as going to an American university. Rivakina accepted this offer. Russia, which had female tennis superstars such as Maria Sharapova (36) and Anna Kournikova (42, retired) in the 2000s, has since failed to discover the next generation. Sharapova, who won the 2014 French Open, is the last major winner from Russia.
Rivakina won the Wimbledon singles title last year. It was the first major championship for a Kazakh nationality. “I am a Kazakh player. I did not choose the country where I was born (Russia). People from Kazakhstan believed in me and helped me a lot.” Rivakina will face Victoria Azaranka (24th, Belarus) in the semifinals on the 26th.