Elena Rykina chose to donate a large sum of money to causes close to her heart after raising a large amount of money at Wimbledon.
The 23-year-old beat Simona Halep and Ons Jabeur in back-to-back matches to win her first Grand Slam championship at the All England Club. The win didn’t see her improve her ranking dramatically (she would have made it into the top 10), but she was still able to reap the biggest prize a Wimbledon champion has ever had.
She won’t be keeping all of this because she chose to donate part of this prize money to animal charities after recently visiting an animal shelter and seeing what it was like. Rybakina was also set to earn a big bonus from the Federation by becoming the first player from Kazakhstan to win a major tournament, but she turned down the money, preferring it to go to the country’s youth programs.
“First of all, of course, I would like to help the juniors, most of it (the money) will go to them. And the second important point for me: I was at the shelter, and I was very moved by it, so I would like to allocate money for the animal shelter.”
Elaborating further on why supporting young players is important to her, she noted her own journey:
“The transition from juniors to an adult professional career is very difficult. Besides the fact that you have to have a good team around you, not everyone is able to continue at the professional level and only a few people reach the top. I was very lucky in that regard.”
“At that time, almost five years ago, I happened to have an acute question: what to do next? I was around 17-18 years old. I had to decide if I would try to play and stay professional play sports or go to study. We found each other, and at the end of the day, I am very happy that my journey continues exactly with Kazakhstan. The story happens together thanks to Kazakhstan. Thank you very much for your support.”