Elena Rybakina defeats Ons Jabeur to win Wimbledon: Set-by-set breakdown
Elena Rybakina becomes the first Kazakh to win a Grand Slam
She defeated favourite Ons Jabeur 3-6, 6-2, 6-2
Losing the first set, the Kazakh fought back to power her way to win the final
The Wimbledon women's final brought together two distinct styles. Tunisian Ons Jabeur's crafty touch play duelled with Kazakh Elena Rybakina's power tennis, but the latter prevailed over three breakneck sets. Jabeur overcame her BBQ Buddie Tatjana Maria in a throwback semi-final brimming with subtle variations and intricate net exchanges. The Moscow-born Rybakina muscled her way to the summit clash, outgunning all opponents with her strong service game.
Both players contested their first final, with Jabeur becoming the first Arab player to do so. While Jabeur was odds on favourite to clinch the tie, Rybakina put to waste pre-match predictions, storming back after losing the first set 6-3 to win the next two 6-2, 6-2.
First Set: Jabeur 6 Rybakina 3
The Tunisian struck the first blow of the final, breezing to a 6-3 win. After a thrusting opening service game by the Kazakh, the wily Jabeur broke her easy when the score was 1-1. The favourite had Rybakina on the run, not allowing her to settle into a rhythm. Unfurling her usual mix of slices, drop shots and angled returns, Jabeur nullified the six-feet-something Kazakh's power game. The third seed wrapped up the set with another convincing love break.
Second Set: Jabeur 2 Rybakina 6
Rybakina thrummed her way to a comfortable second-set win. Working off the nerves, the Kazakh was in her element to level the final. Breaking Jabeur immediately after losing the first, the 17th seed was in a fiery mood, refusing to bow to Jabeur's wily ways. It took her an hour and five minutes to find her first ace, but she would seal the set with another booming serve with two set points to spare.
Final Set: Jabeur 2 Rybakina 6
Jabeur's downward spiral continued into the decider. Failing to challenge an incorrect line call at 30-40, she conceded the break after a tetchy rally. Rybakina followed by holding serve. The Tunisian was lucky to find herself 15-30 up, but Jabeur's poor decision-making and Rybakina's increasing authority swung the game in the Kazakh's favour. After trading two games, Jabeur threatened to break back, slicing her way to a 0-40 lead, but Rybakina stormed back to level the game before holding out to keep herself on course for the title. The Kazakh followed by peppering Jabeur with some hot-rod returns, making her scamper from side to side.
Breaking her serve twice over, Rybakina put herself within smelling distance of the Venus Rosewater Dish. The Kazakh served out to seal her and her nation's first grand slam. Jabeur-failing to contend with Rybakina's rising levels- wilted dramatically. The poker-faced Kazakh would finally show some excitement, climbing into her box to the warm embrace of her entourage!