Global soccer superstar Lionel Messi made a dream debut for Inter Miami in the MLS. He scored a dazzling goal to help his team get over the line against the home team. Former Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina, who is a fan of soccer, was present at the stadium to witness Messi’s magic.
Rybakina is in New York City to participate in the last Grand Slam of the year, the US Open. The Kazakh has had a decent season, even if she does not have much to show for. But she defeated Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka earlier this year, en route to her title at the Indian Wells.
Elena attended Inter Miami‘s match against the New York Redbulls, a day prior to the start of her US Open journey. She even posted a picture on her Instagram handle, wearing a Red Bulls cap.
Rybakina got her money’s worth as Messi dazzled the spectators with his skills. The Argentine came off the bench in the second half, not before a ‘We Want Messi’ chant reverberated through the stadium.
Messi dribbled past 3 defenders, before passing the ball through a narrow opening to Benjamin Cremaschi. The 18-year passed it back to Messi, who slotted the ball in.
For his first regular season goal for the club 🎉
— Inter Miami CF (@InterMiamiCF) August 27, 2023
The Argentine has been sensational since his move to the US. Fans and pundits are of the opinion that Messi has boosted the interest among the common public. He is the player that the US needed.
Messi was also spotted with tennis superstar Novak Djokovic in New York City. The picture of the two GOATs had gone viral. This season, tennis and football have crossed paths in a spectacular fashion. Lionel’s performance on Sunday is one that Elena Rybakina will remember for a long time.
Elena Rybakina prepares for sleepless nights ahead
It has been a couple of weeks since Rybakina’s spectacular victory over Daria Kasatkina in Montreal. Their semifinal clash, which began around midnight, had gone on till 3 am in the morning. Unfortunately, Rybakina is still reeling from the effects of that match.
In her own words, Rybakina had felt ‘destroyed’ by that quarterfinal clash against Kasatkina. But late-night finishes are becoming more common in tennis. World number one Iga Swiatek even wondered if people stayed up to watch these matches.
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However, players are becoming more vocal about the problems these horrible schedules are causing. Players do not get enough time to recover. Elena had to pull out of the Cincinnati Open in the second round, because of it. “It’s really tough to recover when you go to sleep at 5 a.m.,” said Rybakina (via The Guardian).
Players like Andy Murray and Victoria Azarenka have spoken about these late finishes. But so far, the complaints have fallen on deaf ears. All eyes will be on the US Open now, which begins August 28th.