Elena Rybakina wins Wimbledon women’s singles title, her first Grand Slam and first for Kazakhstan


Elena Rybakina wins Wimbledon women's singles title, her first Grand Slam and first for Kazakhstan

Rybakina defeated world No. 3 Ons Jabeur in three sets, winning 3-6 6-2 6-2 after falling from a set deficit.

Appearing in her first Grand Slam final, the 23-year-old started slow but gradually found her rhythm and powerful serve to defeat Jabeur.

Rybakina, who was born in Russia but has represented Kazakhstan since 2018, was the youngest women’s finalist at Wimbledon since 2015, when Garbine Muguruza was 21.

But at the end of an enthralling encounter, Rybakina lifted the Venus Rosewater Dish aloft as she was crowned Wimbledon champion for the first time.

In her subsequent interview in court, Rybakina’s first emotion was relief.

“I was super nervous before the game, during the game and I’m glad it’s over,” she told Sue Barker on Center Court.

“I’ve really never felt anything like this before. I want to thank the crowd for the support, it’s been amazing these two weeks.

“But I also want to congratulate Ons on a great game and everything they have achieved. I think you are an inspiration to everyone. You have an amazing game. We don’t have someone like that on tour and it’s a joy to play .” against you I ran so much I don’t think I need to do more fitness.

Rybakina added: “It’s true, I didn’t expect to be in Wimbledon in the second week of a Grand Slam. Being a winner is just incredible. Words fail me to say how happy I am.”

“But obviously I wouldn’t be here without my team, so I want to say a big thank you to them. I want to thank my coach, my sponsors and everyone. Of course, the most important thing is that my parents are not here, so I’m very sorry. My sister is here and it’s only the third time she’s come to the tour to watch, so I’m glad she’s here. I certainly wouldn’t be here without my parents. Thank you very much everyone.”

Rybakina kisses the trophy winning the Wimbledon women's singles title.

First steps

It only took a few games of the final for the first shock. The high-serving Rybakina, who had lost just one set in the entire tournament before the final, was broken by Jabeur in game three to take an early lead.

And in Rybakina’s next service game, she had to salvage numerous break points as her opening set chances seemed to falter, but she managed to fend off the energetic Jabeur.

A few games later after holding serve, Jabeur’s tenacious return game and masterful skill opened up three set points to give her an opportunity to win the opener. she liked to take them with both hands.

Jabeur celebrates a point win against Rybakina.

Although Rybakina looked shaken in the opening movement, the second frame started off strong. Behind her own accurate returns, she broke the lively Jabeur in her opening game to everyone’s shock.

After taking an early lead, Rybakina almost gave up her advantage soon after and had to fend off several break points before eventually taking a two-game lead in the set.

And under the blue London sky and bright sun, the next few games passed with very little between the two stars.

Rybakina celebrates against Jabeur in the women's singles final at Wimbledon.

Both had to fend off their opponents’ break point opportunities to hold serve while displaying the skills that blew their opponents away in previous rounds.

But Rybakina broke Jabeur again – who had looked so solid in the opening set – in set number two to take a commanding 4-1 lead.

And with the set on the line, she rediscovered her normally devastating serving skills after struggling early and emphatically winning the set to send it into a decider.

After a short water and nervous break, the tennis continued at full speed.

Rybakina again interrupted the Tunisian to set the early pace, with the pair exchanging shots. And in a tight final set, it was the Kazakh who grew from strength to strength, eventually claiming her maiden Grand Slam title with another emphatic service game.

Rybakina celebrates defeating Jabeur and winning the women's singles title at Wimbledon.

Not only did she become her country’s first player to win a Grand Slam title, she also became the youngest Wimbledon champion since 2011.

For Jabeur, she also wanted to write her name in the history books after becoming the first Arab or African player to achieve a Grand Slam title.

When asked how she could inspire young players at home, she joked: “Elena stole my title but it’s ok!”

“I love this tournament so much and I’m really sad but I’m trying to inspire many generations from my country. I hope they’re listening.”

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