Wimbledon 2017: Magdalena Rybarikova’s awful and inspiring journey to Grand Slam semi-final

 

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Women’s tennis has produced some of the most compelling stories in sports but the one that has been the most awe-inspiring is surprise semi-finalist Magdalena Rybarikova’s fairytale comeback.

Magdalena Rybarikova’s run continues at Wimbledon on Tuesday, as she ousted No.24 seed CoCo Vandeweghe in the quarterfinals, 6-3, 6-3 to reach the final four at a Grand Slam for the very first time.

A year ago, right after Wimbledon 2016, Rybarikova had to undergo surgery on her left wrist for an injury that had been causing her pain for two years. Right after that, her right knee went under the knife for another surgical process. She was forced to spend seven months on the sidelines to recuperate and only returned to tennis in February this year.

She started playing on the ITF Circuit, and in March was ranked as far back as 453 in the world. She slowly started making deep runs in the lower-tier tournaments, and in May picked up two titles one at an 80K in Gifu and the other at a 60K in Fukuoka two obscure cities in Japan. She impressed at Roland Garros with a first-round win over World No 19 CoCo Vandeweghe

At Wimbledon she stunned third seeded Karolina Pliskova in the second round. She continued her good run against Lesia Tsurenko and Petra Martic to make her first ever Grand Slam quarter-final.

Magdalena Rybarikova after the match  : Obviously I was dreaming about it since I was a little kid, to be semifinal in the Wimbledon. I think all the players are dreaming about this to happen. “Before the match, I was still saying to myself, ‘It’s great to be quarterfinal, just be relaxed, just play your game, then we’ll see what’s going to happen.’

“Even when I have match points, I was all the time thinking the same, you know. Just to be relaxed, just to be relaxed. I was really not that nervous. I was very surprised because I was always thinking before when I was home, like, how nervous I would be when I was watching the other players to have match points and to get into the semifinal. “I was really not that nervous. Maybe that’s why I also made it.”

Rybarikova’s  history

2008: 1R

2009: 1R

2010: 1R

2011: 1R

2012: 1R

2013: 1R

2014: 1R

2015: 3R

2016: 1R 

2017: Semi-Final

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