Wimbledon women’s final: Elena Rybakina beats Ons Zhaber

Elena Rybakina won the women’s Wimbledon final on Saturday, depriving Tunisian tennis player Once Jaber of her chance to make African tennis history.

Russian-born Elena Rybakina bounced back from her loss to Ons Jabert to win the Wimbledon title on Saturday, depriving the Tunisian world No. 2 of a chance to make African tennis history.

World No. 2 Jabeur was in charge at the start of the match, but the 17th seed representing Kazakhstan regrouped and lost four more games en route to winning their first Grand Slam title by 3-6, 6-2, 6-. 2 win.

Before winning Wimbledon, Rybakina had never made it past the quarterfinals of a Slam tournament.

While Russian and Belarusian players were banned from Wimbledon this year after the invasion of Ukraine, Rybakina defected to Kazakhstan in 2018. She became the first Kazakh tennis player to win Wimbledon.

“I am very happy to represent Kazakhstan. They believed in me. There are no more questions about how I feel,” the 23-year-old said ahead of Saturday’s match.

“My path as a Kazakh player is already long. I played at the Olympics, in the Federation Cup.”

“I have never felt anything like this before,” said the champion. “Congratulations to Ons for everything you have achieved.

“You inspire Tunisians and everyone else. You played a great game.”

Zhaber, 27, started in style, breaking Rybakin in the third game of the match when the Kazakhstani went ahead with a backhand.

She followed this up with a spectacular move that included a delightful angled backhand pass past her opponent at the net.

Rybakina again came under intense pressure from her serve as the set threatened to run away from her, but she did her best to keep the score 3-2.

But she failed to secure a single break point on the sun-drenched Center Court in the first set, and an error-laced serve handed the set to Jabeur.

While Zhaber celebrated with a fist, Rybakin returned to her seat, contemplating the costly 17 unforced errors.

But the momentum changed immediately at the start of the second set when Rybakina beat Zhaber before holding on to a 2-0 lead.

Now Rybakina had found her rhythm, and Jabeur had to do his best to stay in touch.

The 23-year-old Kazakh, six feet (1.84 meters) tall, then saved three break points before breaking again to take a 4-1 lead when Zhaber went ahead with a right hand.

Rybakina equalized with an ace, and Zhaber saved four missed break-point opportunities in the set.

The 17th seed hit first in the decider, breaking immediately to increase the pressure on Zhaber.

Tunisia conceded three break points in Game 6 as their frustration mounted and this proved to be their last chance.

Rybakina showed some nervousness when serving for the set, but won her first championship point when Zhaber went long with a backhand.

Jabeur congratulated the winner, saying: “I hope next time he will be mine.” “Thank you to my team for supporting me and believing in me,” she said. “I love this tournament. I’m sad, but this is tennis – there can only be one winner.”

The grass courts of Wimbledon were considered the ideal playground for Rybakina to play. Before the final, she threw 49 aces and hit the second fastest serve in the women’s tournament at 122 miles (196 kilometers) per hour.

Her win robbed Jabeur of her chance to become Africa’s first Grand Slam women’s singles champion on Saturday.

Jabeur was one of the favorites for the title in Paris, winning the clay court title in Madrid and then finishing second to Swiatek in Rome.

Jabeur, one of only three world-ranked Tunisian women, had a 2-1 lead over Rybakina, with her most recent win coming in Chicago last year.

Saturday’s match was expected to spark a radically different clash of tennis styles – Jabert’s kick and rhythm change counter Rybakina’s raw power.

“She’s not the type to yell a lot on every point. I respect that in her,” Jabeur said before the match.

“I know that she is a very shy person even outside of court. Maybe I’ll scream on Saturday.”

Originally published as Wimbledon women’s final: Russian Elena Rybakina beats Tunisian Ons Jaber