Russia-born Rybakina wins maiden Wimbledon title

London, July 10 (Agency) Russia-born Elena Rybakina denied Tunisian World No. 2 Ons Jabeur from making African history after she romped home from a set down to win the Wimbledon title here on Saturday. In the entire match, Rybakina, who represents Kazakhstan, lost just four games on the way to a convincing 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Jabeur. The 27-year-old Tunisian began with aplomb, breaking Rybakina in the third game of the match when she went long with a backhand. The set appeared to slip away from under-pressure Rybakina’s grip on her own serve, but she stood tall to hold 3-2. But she failed to sustain the flow. The Kazakh failed to force a single break in the first set and unforced errors gifted the set to Jabeur.

Rybakina took early control of the second set as she broke Jabeur before holding for a 2-0 lead. Jabeur found it extremely tough to stay in the game after the six-feet tall Kazakh had found her touch. Rybakina then clinched three break points before breaking again to take a 4-1 lead when Jabeur went long with a forehand. She equalised with an ace as Jabeur reflected on four missed break-point opportunities in the set. The Kazakh seed was first to strike in the decider, breaking straight away to heap the pressure on Jabeur. The Tunisian frittered away three breakpoint opportunities in the sixth game as her frustration increased, proving detrimental to her balance. Rybakina showed some nervousness in serving out for the set, but won with her first championship point when Jabeur went long with a backhand. Rybakina was granted citizenship of Kazakhstan in 2018. Russian and Belarusian players were banned from Wimbledon this year following the invasion of Ukraine. This was Rybakina’s first Slam final. She had never been in the semifinals and finals.