Elena Rybakina defeated Tunisian third seed Ons Jabeur in a thrilling Wimbledon final to become the first Kazakh woman to win a Grand Slam championship.
The 23-year-old Rybakina rallied to win 3-6 6-2 6-2 and become the first Wimbledon singles winner since 2011 at her age.
She improved after a rough opening set and forced Jabeur into mistakes.
Moscow-born Rybakina earned her triumph in a year when Wimbledon forbade Russians from competing.
Due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the All England Club forbade Russian and Belarusian players from participating in this year’s competition.
The Duchess of Cambridge, who has openly backed Ukraine’s war, gave Rybakina the Venus Rosewater Dish when she switched sides in 2018 after getting further financial aid from Kazakhstan.
Jabeur pulled a backhand wide on her first match point, giving the 17th seed the win.
The new champion first shown little emotion, just raising her right arm in the air as part of a subdued celebration.
Rybakina ran up a gangway of the stairs to hug her squad after giving Jabeur a hearty embrace at the net and receiving a polite round of applause.
Words just cannot express how thrilled she was.
She played Rybakina’s serve quite effectively in the early going. However, Rybakina just responded, “I’m going to hit the ball harder,” as the game went on.
She grabbed the ball as it rose and stole Jabeur’s time; she even gained confidence in front of the net, but she truly improved throughout.
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