Moscow-born Elena Rybakina is the first person from Kazakhstan to win a Grand Slam singles title at Wimbledon. She beat Ons Jabeur of Tunisia, who is ranked number two in the world, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2. She had to win the third set to win the match. Rybakina made history when she did this. She was the first player from Kazakhstan to do so.
Elena Rybakina would not have been able to play in this year’s Wimbledon if she hadn’t switched her allegiance from Russia to the United States four years ago. This is because Russian and Belarussian players have been banned from the grasscourt major because of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
But even if the constant questions about Rybakina’s ties to Russia over the past two weeks have affected her mental state, it hasn’t shown in the 23-year-play old’s on the court.
After another powerful match, Elena Rybakina became the fifth different woman to win the women’s title at the All England Club in as many years. This was the first Grand Slam final since 1962 in which both players were taking part in the WTA tournament for the first time.
Before the final match on Saturday, Rybakina and Jabeur had played each other three times, and each player had won one of those matches. But Rybakina, who was born in Moscow and now lives in Chicago, dropped out of their last match because she was sick.
Rybakina’s powerful serve was supposed to be a key part of Saturday’s match, but Jabeur had an easier time holding on to her service in the early stages on a sunny Centre Court. The way Rybakina spoke was thought to be a key factor.
Elena Rybakina’s rhythm was clearly thrown off by Jabeur’s plan to shake things up. This is shown by the fact that the Tunisian broke Rybakina in the third game, which was the first blow.
Jabeur used her slices to slow down the pace of the rallies. She stepped inside the baseline to hit her opponents second serve hard and made the most of her slices during the rallies.
Elena Rybakina seemed to lose her cool after falling behind 5-3. She made four unforced errors, including a double fault, which gave Jabeur a second break and the first set in just 32 minutes. The first set went to Jabeur.
Trying to put out a fire
Still, there was a long way to go in the game.
When the Kazakh player got an early break in the second set and took the lead, the tide turned in her favor and she gained momentum.
Even though Elena Rybakina was big, she was quick enough to track down Jabeur’s drop shots while her racket, which had a red frame and suddenly spewed fire, did the same.
But Jabeur’s plan fell apart when she tried to compete with Rybakina’s power. As Rybakina got better at her game and made fewer mistakes by accident, the drop shots looked less dangerous.
During the long fourth game, the Tunisian had three chances to tie the score, but Elena Rybakina kept his cool and was able to break Jabeur in the next game to go up 4-1.
After three more games, the 17th seed hit an ace that went 116 miles per hour to send the match into a deciding set.
Rybakina took the lead and took the initiative after breaking Jabeur in the first game of the deciding set.
Even though the Centre Court crowd was cheering for him, Jabeur looked frustrated on the lush green lawns at that point. Back home, he was known as the “Minister of Happiness.”
In the sixth game, Jabeur set it up so that Rybakina had three chances at a breakpoint, but all of them were stopped by Rybakina. This made everyone even happier.
She won five straight points to save the breakpoints, and then she broke Jabeur again. This made the Tunisian, who was trying to become the first African and Arab woman to win a major, bury her face in her towel during the changeover.
Rybakina was nervous when she was serving for the match, but she won when Jabeur missed a backhand shot on her first championship point. The calm Kazakh barely pumped his fist and just smiled briefly when they won. He didn’t care about anything.