Elena Rybakina beat Tunisia`s Ons Jabeur 3-6 6-2 6-2 to become the first player from Kazakhstan to win a Grand Slam singles title at Wimbledon on Saturday. With Russian and Belarussian players banned from the grasscourt major following Moscow`s invasion of Ukraine, Rybakina would have been excluded from this year`s Wimbledon had she not switched allegiance from Russia four years ago.
Elena Rybakina rises to the occasion
In its centenary year, Centre Court crowns a new Ladies’ Singles champion#Wimbledon | #CentreCourt100 pic.twitter.com/Wabfr0GTdS
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 9, 2022
In this first Wimbledon title match first-time Grand Slam finalists of the Open Era, the 23-year-old Rybakina also became the youngest woman to lift the title since 21-year-old Petra Kvitova won it in 2011. It is the third title of her career. In between, she had lost four straight finals, including last year’s bronze medal play-off at Tokyo Olympics.
Her opponent Jabeur also left the event creating history, leaving the venue as first Tunisian and Arab woman to reach a Grand Slam final. Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur booked her slot in the Wimbledon final after a win over Germany’s Tatjana Maria in the semi-finals of the women’s category on Thursday. The No. 3 seed Jabeur won the one-hour, forty-three-minute long match against Maria by a margin of 6-2, 3-6, 6-1. Her opponent Rybakina also reached the finals by defeating Simona Halep of Romania in the semi-finals. The Kazakh defeated Halep by margin of 6-3, 6-3 in a match that lasted 1 hour, 15 minutes.