Last April, Wimbledon officials decided to exclude Russian players from their tournament. On Saturday, ironically, it was a player of Russian origin who won the women’s Grand Slam title.
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Elena Rybakina, who was born and raised in Moscow but has been playing for Kazakhstan since 2018, won 3-6 6-2 6-2 against world No. 2 Ons Jabeur.
At the same time, she became the first player from Kazakhstan to win a Grand Slam title. At 23, she is the youngest Wimbledon champion since Petra Kvitova in 2011. She is holding a check for 3.1 million Canadian dollars.
“I can’t believe it,” Rybakina told a news conference. Maybe in a few days I’ll realize what I just did.
“I am super proud of myself, my team and everyone who works with me. It was difficult and I think together we made it. »
Rybakina delivered a great performance to earn the victory. In the first set, she got broken in her second service game. From then on, Jabeur stepped up the pace and followed his game plan to the letter. The Tunisian was in control of the match thanks to a great variety in her attacks.
However, the tide turned from the opening moments of the second race. Rybakina took matters into her own hands with a break early on. She gained confidence in her abilities and began to string together the good shots.
For his part, Jabeur failed to seize opportunities to curb his young rival’s momentum. He failed to convert four break points in that set. As we have seen on several occasions since the start of the tournament, he has been inconsistent.
If she was able to get out of trouble in her previous bouts, this was not the case against Rybakina. He entered through the door that was opened for him.
The Kazakh crushed Jabeur early in the third set. A hard knock. The final point of this match came with 3-2 in favor of Rybakina. Jabeur had a chance to take both players to match point with three break points. Again, she failed.
The rest of the meeting was a formality for Rybakina.
After the confirmation of her triumph, the new champion had a reserved reaction. We were far from the cheers of the other champions.
“He deserves this title, stressed Ons Jabeur. I am sad about the turn of events, but that is part of tennis. There can only be one winner.
“It was a great experience for me. I’m sure I’m going to learn a lot from this game. It’s two positive weeks for me. I’ll keep my head up. »
To return to her ties to Russia, note that Rybakina was asked a number of questions during her journey to high honors on London soil.
“I have been representing Kazakhstan for several years and I am very happy,” he said. They believe in me. I have no doubt in my mind. I represented this country in the Olympics and the Fed Cup.
“I am a tennis player and I am happy to be here. I try to do my best. It’s a shame for the players. [russes et biélorusses] who were unable to participate in the tournament. »
He tried to cover the pot several times.
“I was born in Russia and I represent Kazakhstan. I don’t know why I have to go back to this. I have already answered several questions on this topic.
“During my matches, the president of the Kazakh federation came to cheer me on. Is big. It is incredible support. »
In the notebook…
- Several big names in women’s tennis attended the match between Elena Rybakina Y Ons Jabeur. Conchita Martinez, Martina Navratilova Y billie jean king they sat in the royal box to witness this final between the two best players of the last fortnight.
- Speaking of celebrities, tom cruise he was also in the royal box for this role. He was all smiles. We can understand when he just pocketed a huge sum to be a part of the movie sequel. top gun.
- During this time, Nick Kyrgios Y Novak Djokovic trained on the grounds of the Aorangi complex on Saturday afternoon. The two finalists had a friendly chat before getting down to business. In short, the Serbian thanked the Australian for having supported him in the public square during his disputes with the Australian justice system. An interesting moment.
- It was a day of firsts at Wimbledon. Angela Okutoyi he became the first Kenyan champion. With his doubles partner rose marie nijkampwon the youth tournament after a great comeback against the Canadians Kayla Cruz Y Victoria Mboko. They won the match by a score of 3-6, 6-4 and 11-9.
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