Elena Rybakina defeated 2019 champion Simona Halep 6-3, 6-3 on Centre Court to set up a Wimbledon final against Ons Jabeur.
Both the 17th-seeded Rybakina and third-seeded Jabeur are first-time Grand Slam finalists.
Rybakina is the first Kazakhstan player to reach a major final. Jabeur is the first Arab woman to reach a major final and the first African woman to do so in the Open era.
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The 23-year-old Rybakina is the youngest Wimbledon finalist since 2015 when Garbiñe Muguruza lost to Serena Williams.
Halep, the 2018 French Open champion, had reached the semifinals without dropping a set but was broken early in both sets.
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The 30-year-old Romanian wasn’t able to defend her Wimbledon title last year — after the 2020 edition was cancelled — because of a calf injury.
Ons Jabeur’s steady progress from year to year — up the tennis rankings, through the draws of various tournaments and, now, at Wimbledon — has carried her to a Grand Slam singles final, the first woman from Africa to make it that far in the professional era.
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The No. 3-seeded Jabeur, a 27-year-old from Tunisia, got past her good friend Tatjana Maria 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 in an up-and-down semifinal at a sun-splashed Centre Court on Thursday.
Jabeur is on quite a run right now: She has won 11 consecutive matches and 22 of her past 24. Since pro players were first admitted to major tennis tournaments in 1968, never had an African been to a final. She also is the first Arab woman to get that far.
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“I’m a proud Tunisian woman standing here today. I know in Tunisia, they’re going crazy right now. I just try to inspire, really, as much as I can,” she said. “I want to see more and more — not just Tunisian — Arab, African players on tour. I just love the game and I want to share this experience with them.”
Jabeur will face 2019 champion Simona Halep or No. 17 seed Elena Rybakina for the championship on Saturday. Halep and Rybakina were scheduled to play their semifinal at the All England Club later Thursday.