Rybakina wins historic Wimbledon title by defeating Jaber

17th seed Elena Rybakina became the first player representing Kazakhstan to win the Grand Slam singles tournament with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory over No. 3 Anas Jaber.

After sealing her first championship point with a serve winner, Rybakina celebrated the win for an hour and 48 minutes with a barely-there fist.

In the first Wimbledon title match between first-time Grand Slam qualifiers in the Open Era, Rybakina, 23, became the youngest woman to lift a Venus Rose Water dish since 21-year-old Petra Kvitova in 2011. She is now the fourth-youngest champion Major active on the Hologic WTA Tour, bigger than only Iga Swiatek, Bianca Andreescu and Emma Raducanu.

Elena Rybakina’s Road to Wimbledon nickname
R1: [LL] CoCo Vandeweghe 7-6 (2), 7-5
R2: Bianca Andreescu 6-4, 7-6 (5)
R3: Zheng Qinwen 7-6 (4), 7-5
R4: Petra Martic 7-5, 6-3
QF: Ajla Tomljanovic 4-6, 6-2, 6-3
sixth: [16] Simona Halep 6-3, 6-3
F: [3] Jaber Ons 3-6, 6-2, 6-2

Wimbledon is Rybakina’s third professional title and first since Hobart 2020. She lost between them four consecutive finals, in addition to last year’s bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

Wimbledon reaction:

Rybakina defeated two previous slam winners along the way, Andreescu in the second round and Simona Halep in the semifinals. Her victory over Jaber was her first top-10 win since her victory over Garbine Muguruza in the Tokyo Olympics quarter-finals.

Rybakina’s previous best showing at the Grand Slam was at Roland Garros 2021, where she defeated Serena Williams to reach the quarter-finals before losing to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. This year’s Wimbledon was the second time the main draw was played in the tournaments. In her debut last year, Rybakina reached the fourth round before losing to Aryna Sabalenka.

Jaber also left Wimbledon after making history. She has spent much of her career as a pioneer for her country and region and is the first Tunisian and Arab woman to reach a Grand Slam final.

Match management: The highest-ranked Jaber wasted little time in asserting himself in the match. In the first set, her shot and passes were on the song, and she used her versatility to constantly put Rybakina in awkward situations.

Rybakina committed 17 involuntary fouls in the opening match, a large number of which came to concede her serve to fall 2-1. Meanwhile, Jabeur’s good presentation didn’t offer much opportunity to turn the situation around. World No. 2 lost only four service points in total during the opening game. And while Rybakina seemed to have settled in halfway, she faltered with another string of cheap misses to lose the last eight points.

Rybakina’s return in the second set is to up her offensive game and provide some of the best defense of her career. She raised her first serve percentage from 58% to 63%, but her movement was a critical component of this segment of play.

Throughout the second set, Rybakina repeatedly chased Jabeur’s falling shots – then provided the touch needed to hit the winners with a precise angle away from them. Breaking Jabeur in the first half of the set, Rybakina avoided shifting momentum by surviving three back-breaking points to maintain the 3-1 score.

Now, it’s Jaber’s turn to fall, leaking her impatience to undo a double break. Rybakina settled the match with minimal fanfare, hitting four non-returns to close out the set set.

With tension rising on the center court, Rybakina maintained her level as she started the third set. She broke up on the spot, again beating Jaber at a point that is mostly Tunisian territory. Jabber dragged Rybakina into the front yard with a clever short, but Rybakina was still able to clear the ball.

As in the second set, Rybakina faced the biggest challenge in her progress halfway through the playoff set. Jabeur moved to the triple-break point of the back with a shot that landed in the net and a superb shot – but Rybakina’s serve was up to the task of holding them back, and she stuck 4-2 with a powerful shot.

After passing this test, Rybakina managed to claim victory, breaking Jabeur again with a score of 5-2 and then serving the match at her first chance. She finished the day with four aces, taking her championship total to 53, and 29 winners to 33 unforced errors.

Rybakina in overcoming the nerves: “I was very nervous. Yesterday I had a good workout. But in the evening I really started to feel very nervous. In the morning too. But I was just trying to tell myself it’s a match and I already have experience I mean, the worst thing for me is that if I’m awake, then You lose the match, and unfortunately I’ve had many matches like this so maybe that helped me a little bit.

“I’ve been trying to convince myself that it might happen again, and hopefully it won’t be the last time I’m in the final. Not the first; not the last. I’ve already done a great job with my team.
With these words I was trying to calm myself.

“She played really well. I needed time to adapt to her game. But then I thought I’d fight to the end no matter what. I just tried to focus on every point because it was so hard. I guess I was so nervous physically, I thought I couldn’t.” , but in the end I was running into all these drop shots.

“I think it was really the first time when I ran a lot with all these hard shots from Ons.”

Rybakina on her quiet reactions to the win: “I’m always very calm. I don’t know what should happen. When I finally give a speech, I’m thinking, ‘I’m going to cry now,’ but somehow I’m clinging to it. Maybe later when I’m alone in the room, I’m going to cry nonstop. I don’t know.”

“Maybe because I think I can do it so deeply. But at the same time, like, a lot of feelings. I was just trying to keep myself calm. Maybe one day you’ll see a big reaction from me, but unfortunately not today.”

Rybakina for what she has proven: “Maybe you proved that you don’t always have to have a great team from a young age, because I wasn’t even 17, 18. So I think that’s the most important thing, that everyone, no matter their financial situation no matter who they are, can play and achieve many things. One of the great results.

“And for myself, I can win one of the Grand Slams. Believe more in myself, maybe I can win more Grand Slams. Who knows? But that’s definitely the goal, and that’s what I’m going to work for.”

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