Kazakhstan's Elena Rybakina wins Wimbledon women’s final for the 1st Slam

Elena Rybakina's Wimbledon title was both "unrealistic" and "unbelievable".

NewsEditor
NewsEditor
09 July 2022 Saturday 14:19
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Kazakhstan's Elena Rybakina wins Wimbledon women’s final for the 1st Slam

Elena Rybakina's Wimbledon title was both "unrealistic" and "unbelievable". She was also "super happy" about the Grand Slam title, ranked 23rd at the time. Her immediate reaction when she seized the last point was as muted and unimaginable as possible.

She exhaled. She moved to the net to shake hands with her opponent, No. 2-ranked Ons Jabeur. As she glanced up at the excitement in Centre Court's guest box, she allowed only the slightest smile. There were no screams of joy. There are no leaps into the air. There is no fall onto the grass.

Jabeur, who was eloquent later noted that she needed to teach Jabeur "how to celebrate really well."

Not more than two hours had passed since her 3-6.6-2.6-2 win over No. Rybakina, who was ranked 2nd in Jabeur, was overcome by the significance and won the first singles trophy at an important tournament for Kazakhstan.

The moment when Rybakina realized this was during a press conference, which included questions about Rybakina's lack of court appearance, was when a reporter asked Rybakina what her parents would think of her triumph. She had not yet spoken to her parents, and they were not present Saturday.

She said "Probably", her eyes welling up with tears, reddening her face, and placing her hand over her mouth, "they are going to be super proud."

Rybakina laughed, then paused, and said: "You wanted emotion!"

Rybakina admitted that she was nervous when she started the match. This was the first Wimbledon women’s final since 1962. She didn't wave at the crowd as Jabeur did when she entered the stadium 100 years old. Rybakina instead kept a firm grip on the black-and red straps of her racket bag, which was slung over the shoulders.

Jabeur was the better player in the first set, taking Rybakina’s serve and groundstrokes to break for a 2:1 advantage.

Rybakina's mistakes mounted. With the court full open, Rybakina hit a volley into the net tape. Jabeur's netted forehand barely made it in. Jabeur fell in love with Rybakina's forehand and took the first set. He shouted "Yalla!" Arabic for "Let’s go!" She threw an elbow as she walked towards the sideline.

Jabeur, a 27 year-old Tunisian woman, was on a 12-match winning streak on grass courts. She wanted to be the first Arab or African woman in professional tennis to win a Slam singles title.

Jabeur said, "I just try and inspire as many generations I can." She had taken a photograph of the Wimbledon women’s singles trophy to her phone as inspiration. "I hope they aren't really disappointed, but i'll do my best next time."

Rybakina was born and raised in Moscow. She has been representing Kazakhstan since 2018, when the country provided funding to help her tennis career. Wimbledon has been discussing the switch because of the ban by the All England Club from allowing athletes representing Russia and Belarus to enter the tournament because of the war in Ukraine.

Rybakina won't get the boost she would have received in any other year because Wimbledon withheld all ranking points.

Rybakina stated, "I didn’t choose where to be born." "People believed in my abilities. Kazakhstan supported me so much."

Only one woman has ever been ranked lower than Rybakina in the WTA computer rankings since 1975. That was Venus Williams, who won Wimbledon in 2007, at No. 31 despite having been No. 1, and had already won three of her five career Wimbledon trophy.

Rybakina beat Serena Williams last year at the French Open and began to show why she is the leader in aces on the tour in 2022.

Rybakina converted her first break opportunity to lead 1-0 after Jabeur's missed forehand. Rybakina quickly led 5-1 after saving four break points in her next two service matches.

Jabeur, who is the leader of the women's tour this year with 13 wins in three-setters, said, "I didn’t play my best tennis." "She became more aggressive. She seemed to be more aggressive and put a lot pressure on me.

Rybakina broke to start the third set, hitting her forehands hard into the court. Jabeur never seemed to find her rhythm and Rybakina was unable to stop Rybakina from hitting her flat forehands. One last critical moment. Jabeur, who is as skilled as any player in the game with her spins, slices, and variety, converted Rybakina’s serve into a drop shot.

Rybakina won the next five points with a few 119 mph serves. After that, Rybakina broke again.

"Frustrating," Jabeur said.

It was done not long after.

"I didn’t know what I should do." Rybakina stated that it was shocking and said she wasn't able to hear the entire speech of the Duchess.

She smiled and said, "Maybe one of these days you will see huge reactions from me," but she didn't know that right now.

Rybakina admitted that she did not expect to make it to the second week of the fortnight, let alone the last weekend.

She is now, and will always be, a Grand Slam Champion.

It's hard to express how I feel now. Rybakina stated that she will always remember the past two weeks, particularly today, for all eternity. It's something that I will never forget.

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