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‘I don’t mean to get into politics but…’ McEnroe says what everyone’s thinking as Kate gives Rybakina Wimbledon trophy

JOHN McENROE was not afraid to say what everybody was pondering earlier than the Duchess of Cambridge handed over the Wimbledon trophy to a Russia-born winner.

As Patron of the All England Membership, Kate was in control of the presentation ceremony following the women’ singles closing.

The Duchess of Cambridge presented Elena Rybakina with the Wimbledon trophy


The Duchess of Cambridge introduced Elena Rybakina with the Wimbledon trophyCredit score: Paul Edwards
The 23-year-old was born and raised in Russia but now represents Kazakhstan


The 23-year-old was born and raised in Russia however now represents KazakhstanCredit score: Richard Pelham/The Solar
Kate watched and applauded as Rybakina lifted the Venus Rosewater dish


Kate watched and applauded as Rybakina lifted the Venus Rosewater dishCredit score: Richard Pelham/The Solar
The No17 seed kissed the trophy but barely broke a smile on Center Court


The No17 seed kissed the trophy however barely broke a smile on Middle CourtroomCredit score: Richard Pelham/The Solar

And with Elena Rybakina coming from behind to beat Ons Jabeur 3-6 6-2 6-2, Wimbledon’s largest fears got here true.

Rybakina, 23, was born and raised in Moscow and it’s believed that each her and her dad and mom nonetheless stay within the Russian capital – although she switched allegiance to Kazakhstan in 2018 to obtain their tennis federation’s funding.

So the actual fact she performs beneath the Kazakhstani flag – with a Kazakhstani passport – meant she was allowed to enter Wimbledon, who banned all Russian and Belarusian stars because of the invasion of Ukraine.

That prompted the ATP and WTA stripping rating factors from the grass-court Grand Slam, which in flip helped Russian Daniil Medvedev tighten his grip on the high of the lads’s rankings.

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World No23 Rybakina then blitzed via the match, dropping simply two units in her seven matches, to raise her maiden Grand Slam – and turn out to be the primary Kazakhstani participant, male or feminine, to win a significant.

The Duchess was all smiles {and professional} as ever, congratulating Rybakina on the victory and giving her the Venus Rosewater dish on Cente Courtroom.

However straight-talking McEnroe refused to cover away from the plain irony of the long run queen and a Russian-born Wimbledon champion, who pockets £2 million in prize cash.

He stated on BBC TV: “I do not imply to get into politics however she’s Russian.

“Her dad and mom stay in Moscow.”

Visitor Sue Barker – presenting her Wimbledon closing after 30 years – tried to minimize the feedback by referencing Greg Rusedski’s change from Canada to Nice Britain.

However social media piled in with an entire host of posts referencing the identical coincidence, together with an image of Rybakina in a Russia tracksuit.

One stated: “It is humorous you ban particular person Russian gamers from competing, but a Russian wins the title.”

One other wrote: “How enjoyable is {that a} Moscow-born lady gained the Russian-Free Wimbledon.”


A 3rd added: “I suppose banning Russian gamers did not work!

And a closing consumer commented: “The irony that Russians had been banned and a Russian ended up profitable the ladies’s title.”

Talking on courtroom after her win, Rybakina – who barely celebrated and even smiled – stated: “To be a winner is simply wonderful, I haven’t got the phrases to say how blissful I’m. I would not be right here with out my group.

“I respect him (the Kazakhstan tennis president) coming to help me within the semi-final and closing, it is unbelievable help.

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“I need to say a giant due to my complete group — a very powerful is my dad and mom after all however they aren’t right here.

“I’m very sorry. My sister is right here. With out my dad and mom, I would not be right here.”

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