Andy Murray in the first round of Wimbledon 2023, UK
Andy Murray in the first round of Wimbledon 2023, UK | (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Tennis | Wimbledon 2023 | Day Two Talking Points: Elena Rybakina talks Centre Court nerves as Andy Murray strides on

By Tony Fairbairn at Wimbledon

  • Defending champion Elena Rybakina spoke about Centre Court nerves after victory over Shelby Rogers
  • Carlos Alcaraz remains confident after straight sets win over Jeremy Chardy
  • Andy Murray was unfazed by the physical side of a Grand Slam after defeating Ryan Peniston
LONDON, ENGLAND – Defending champion Elena Rybakina spoke about opening match nerves while Andy Murray remained unfazed by fatigue on day two of Wimbledon.


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Rybakina admits Centre Court nerves after victory

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Our day two talking points start with defending champion Elena Rybakina who is into the second round after a 4-6 6-1 6-2 victory over Shelby RogersThe third seed didn’t have it all her own way as she was broken on a couple of occasions in the opening set but Rybakina cruised through the last two sets to reach the second round.

However speaking after the match Rybakina admitted to being nervous after starting off play on Centre Court on day two.

“I would say that first it was not so many matches before. Of course, just the atmosphere and the attention to be on Centre Court, it’s different than the last year, because last year I started on a smaller court,” Rybakina said in her press conference.

“With every match I was playing better and better, feeling better. Here it’s different. Straightaway you go to this big court. I think for me it’s now new chapter and this is something I need to get used and try to maintain my level. Yeah, just to get used to all these things.

“Yeah, I think I didn’t start that well. I was not moving that great. Straightaway was a break from the first game. So, of course, after that it’s difficult. I was not that reactive on the return also. Yeah, I needed, like, the full set I would say, which is not the greatest, of course, to feel better and start playing also, and raise the level.”

Rybakina’s early nerves will stand her in a good place mentally for the rest of the tournament as she looks to defend her title. The Kazakh’s preparations for the tournament were not the best with Rybakina struggling with a viral illness.

However speaking after the match Rybakina said that she physically feels fine as she looks ahead to the rest of the tournament.

“Physically I’m feeling good. Of course, maybe I’m missing a bit some things here and there because we didn’t put enough hours or maybe the hours we wanted to do,” Rybakina explained.

“But overall I feel good. I think with every match, I’m going to just also get in physically more ready for all the matches. So, yeah, hopefully I can play as many as I can here.”

Rybakina will continue her title defence in the second round where she plays either Nao Hibino or Alize Cornet who are one of a number of first round matches that were called off due to rain.


‘Confident’ Alcaraz aims for Federer presence

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Next up it was world number one Carlos Alcaraz’s turn to grace the Wimbledon stage as the Spaniard was feeling good in his game after winning Queen’s Club. That confidence was evident as he cruised past Jeremy Chardy in straight sets to reach the second round.

After the match Alcaraz said that he’s confident in his abilities on grass and is looking forward to the fortnight.

“To win the tournament. That’s the main goal right now for me,” Alcaraz boldly claimed in his press conference.

“I have a lot of confidence right now. The main goal for me this tournament is to win, to win it. Let’s say just stay focus all the time. Here let’s say you are not focus one game, as I did in the third set, he break my serve, and you are down, let’s say. For me, that’s the most under thing, something that I have to learn more, to stay focused all the time, not let him dominate let’s say one game or some part of the match. That’s something that I have to overcome in my game here on grass.”

There’s no doubting Alcaraz’s focus as he looks ahead to the second round where he will face either Alexandre Muller or Arthur RinderknechHowever one thing Alcaraz was jealous of was that there was no Roger Federer to watch his match as the eight-time champion took to the Royal Box to watch the Centre Court action.

Speaking after the match the top seed admitted he would love Federer to watch his matches in the future.

“Yeah, I mean, after the match I was with the phone checking everything I have, all the stories, all the posts,” Alcaraz when speaking about Federer.

“I saw that Roger Federer was here. I was a little bit jealous. Honestly, I want Roger Federer to watch one of my matches obviously. I wish to talk a little bit with him. For me would be amazing. I hope to see him around more than once.”



Murray unfazed about Grand Slam fatigue

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Now onto Andy Murray who got his Wimbledon campaign underway with a straight sets win over Ryan PenistonMurray struggled in the early stages but once he found his rhythm, the two-time champion cruised through where he will now play Dominic Thiem or Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Speaking after his win Murray was asked whether he is concerned about the physicality of a Grand Slam and whether he needs to win matches quickly. The Brit remained unfazed by the prospect of playing physical matches and cited his performances in Australia where he played a lot of five set matches.

“I’m playing well enough to beat most of the players, I think, in the draw if I play well. Physically, I feel good,” Murray stated.

“Yeah, physically I feel absolutely fine right now. You don’t plan and prepare for the matches that I had earlier this year in Australia or when I played Stefanos at the US Open, or whatever. I hope my matches don’t go on that long. If they do, I’ve prepared well enough to be able to deal with them. You see how you recover physically from them.

“But I’m not concerned about either of those things. It’s not something that I worry about each day whilst I’m here or in the buildup.”


Jabeur wants to have fun

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We end our talking points with last year’s finalist Ons Jabeur who defeated Magdalena Frech in straight sets in a clinical performance. The Tunisian is looking to achieve her dream of winning Wimbledon and took one step closer to that with a ruthless display on No.1 Court.

However speaking after her win, Jabeur admitted that she wants to have fun on court and not work too hard as it can be hard mentally.

“No, there have been times where you just don’t want to stay on the tennis court, you just want to go on vacation somewhere. It becomes very, very tough,” Jabeur said.

“I believe tennis is a mental sport. It’s a complete sport for me. It requires every inch of your body to be ready, especially your mental health. Sometimes if I don’t focus on having pleasure on the court, that main idea that tennis is fun, it’s not just a job that you have to do, that could be very difficult for me to enjoy.

“Maybe my creativity and the shots that I do, they won’t be there. That’s why I always try to enjoy. In a surface like grass, I believe it’s a surface that I enjoy so much, I don’t know why, more than the others. Maybe because I’m a football fan, and I always enjoy playing football on grass. I feel the connection between both.”



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