Jelena Rybakina completes tennis stunt and wins Wimbledon: ‘Feel like a native of Kazakhstan’ | Tennis

with videoJelena Rybakina has caused a sensation by winning Wimbledon. The 23-year-old player from Kazakhstan, number 23 in the world, defeated the Tunisian Ons Jabeur in the final: 3-6, 6-2 and 6-2.

Sports editors

Latest update:
09-07-22, 18:44

The global number 2 Jabeur started the final strongly on ‘the holy grass’. Rybakina had to hand in her second service and did so again at a 3-5 score, this time even on ‘love’. In the second act, however, the Kazakhstani managed to turn the tide, mainly because her first serve went much better.

A third set had to bring the decision. Rybakina immediately broke her opponent, a lead that she managed to pull over in front of the more than 14,000 spectators on Center Court. When she kept her serve in the sixth game despite three breakpoints, Jabeur’s resistance was finally broken.

Rybakina could hardly contain it afterwards. ,,My main goal here was actually to make it to the second week of the tournament. To be honest, I didn’t think it would work yet. But it kept getting better. The final was incredible. I was very nervous before and during the match. Still, it all worked out well for me. I am incredibly happy.”

Jelena Rybakina. © AP

Born in Russia

Russian-born Rybakina has been playing for Kazakhstan since 2018. Due to the invasion of Ukraine, Russian participants are not welcome at Wimbledon this year. “But I now feel like a resident of Kazakhstan,” she said remarkably, since she was born and lives in Moscow. ,,I have been received wonderfully in my new country and that has led to this success.”

The Wimbledon victory is the absolute highlight of her still early career. Last year she reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros, her best grand slam performance to date. Last year the fourth round at Wimbledon was the final station for her.

Jelena Rybakina and Ons Jabeur.
Jelena Rybakina and Ons Jabeur. © REUTERS

First African in Grand Slam final

Jabeur also experienced the best tournament of her career at Wimbledon. The 27-year-old Tunisian had also never progressed beyond the quarterfinals at a grand slam. This week, she became the first African player ever to reach the final at one of tennis’s four most important tournaments.

Rybakina only encountered one seeded opponent on the way to the final in London: Simona Halep. The former number 1 in the world from Romania, who has now dropped to 18th place, was not involved in the semi-final. It was 6-3, 6-3 for Rybakina.

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