Rybakina Rallies Past Jabeur For Wimbledon Title, First Grand Slam Victory

by Staff | July 9th, 2022, 2:38 pm
  • 1 Comment

Longshot Elena Rybakina had the biggest moment of her young tennis career collecting the Wimbledon title today, rallying from a set down to defeat world No. 2 Ons Jabeur 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.

“I’m speechless because I was super nervous before the match, during the match and I’m honestly happy that it finished. I’ve never felt something like this,” Rybakina said.

With both players in their first Grand Slam final, it was Rybakina feeling it early, getting off to a sluggish start while Jabeur was having her way with the slower Kazakh.

Early in the second and in full control, Jabeur’s level dropped and Rybakina began connecting on her heavy strokes. The serve began to click and the ground strokes followed.

Rybakina, who didn’t drop an ace in the opener, got into a serving rhythm and found comfort at the net.

Jabeur was struggling on all fronts and had no answer. Rybakina would take the second and then break to go up in the third.

In a crucial game, Rybakina got out of a 0-40 jam serving 4-3. She held the nerves and then cruised to a life-changing win.

“I was super nervous,” Rybakina said. “Yesterday I had a good practice. But in evening I already started to feel like I’m too nervous. In the morning also. But I was just trying to tell myself that it’s a match and I already had experience. I mean, for me the worse thing is if you’re up, then you lose the match. Unfortunately I had many matches like this, so maybe it helped me a bit.”

“Ons, she played well. I needed time to adjust to her game. But then after I thought that I’m going to fight till the end no matter what. Just tried to focus on every point because it was very tough. It was super hot. I think because I was nervous physically, I thought I cannot anymore. But in the end I was just running to all these dropshots.”

Rybakina becomes the first woman or man from Kazahkstan to win a Grand Slam title. And at 23, she’s the youngest to win Wimbledon since 2011 when a 21-year-old Petra Kvitova won her first.

“Maybe I proved that not always you have to have great team from the young age, because I didn’t ’til the age of 17, 18. So I think this is the most important thing, that everybody, no matter their financial situation, no matter who they are, they can play and achieve many great results,” she said.

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

Rybakina’s win is also just the third of her career and first ever on grass. She finished with 29 winners to Jabeur’s 17, and she won 17 points at the net vs 7 from Jabeur.

There are no ranking points, but Rybakina will take home with her $2.4 million in prize money.

Jabeur, who was trying to become the first Arab to win a Grand Slam, was disappointed with her performance but credited the champion. The Tunisian couldn’t convert on seven break point chances in the second and third sets.

“I’m definitely positive about it,” said Jabeur. “That’s tennis. There is only one winner. I gave it all today. I was telling myself ‘This is not over, I trust you’. I even said ‘I love you’ to myself. I wanted that title really bad. Maybe because I want it too much, I didn’t have it.

“It wasn’t meant to be. She played really well. She really deserved to win. This is tennis, and it’s part of it. I have to learn from it. But I’m very, very positive about it.

“It’s a great first experience for me. I don’t regret anything.”

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One Comment for Rybakina Rallies Past Jabeur For Wimbledon Title, First Grand Slam Victory

PK Says:

Elena was amazingly cool and composed after winning match point; no jumping around, flinging the racquet into the air, or collapsing to the grass in disbelief. None of that; simply a shy, almost embarrassed smile and a modest wave of the hand as she headed for her chair.

At first I was unsure if she knew that she had actually won!

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