Last April, Wimbledon officials decided to exclude the Russian players from the tournament. Ironically, on Saturday, a player of Russian origin 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, beat world number two Anas Jabeur 3-6 6-2, 6-2.
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 gets her hands on a check for C$3.1 million.
“I can’t believe it,” Rybakina said at a news conference. Maybe in a few days I’ll realize what I just did.
“I am very proud of myself, my team and everyone who works with me. It was tough and I think we succeeded together.”
Rybakina put in a great performance to take the win. In the first set, she was broken in the second service game. Since then, Jaber has taken off at a fast pace and literally followed her game plan. The Tunisian dominated the match thanks to the wide variety of her attacks.
However, the tide has turned from the first moments of the second race. Rybakina took matters into her own hands with a break from the start. She gained confidence in her abilities and started shooting good shots.
For her part, Jaber was unable to seize the opportunities to curb the momentum of her young rival. She was unable to convert four break points in that group. As we’ve seen on several occasions since the start of the tournament, she’s been choppy.
If she was able to get out of trouble in her previous matches, that wasn’t the case against Rybakina. She entered through the door that opened for her.
The Kazakh crushed Jaber early in the third set. hard blow. The end point of this match came 3-2 in favor of Rybakina. Jaber had the chance to get the players back to square one with three break points. Once again, it failed.
The rest of the meeting was a formality for Rybakina.
After confirming her victory, the new champion had a conservative reaction. We were far from the cries of joy of the other heroes.
“She deserves this title, with emphasis on Anas Jaber. I’m sad about the turn of events, but that’s part of tennis. There can only be one winner.
“It was a great experience for me. I am sure I will learn a lot from this game. These two weeks have been positive for me. I will keep my head high.”
To return to his connections with Russia, note that Rybakina was asked several questions during his journey to great honors on the land of London.
“I have represented Kazakhstan for several years and I am very happy,” she said. believe in me. I have no doubt in my mind. You have represented this country in the Olympics and the Fed Cup.
“I’m a tennis player and I’m happy to be here. I’m trying to do what I can. It’s a shame for the players [russes et biélorusses] who could not participate in the tournament. »
I tried putting the lid on the pot a few 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. He is great. He is an incredible support.”
In the notebook…
- Many big names in women’s tennis attended the meeting between Elena Rybakina And the Anas Jaber. Conchita Martinez, Martina Navratilova And the Billie Jean King They sat in the royal box to watch the final match between the two best players of the past two weeks.
- Speaking of celebrities, Tom Cruise He was also in the Royal Trust for that segment. Everything was smiling. We can understand when he just paid a huge fee to be a part of the movie sequel Better.
- during this time, Nick Kyrgios And the Novak Djokovic They practiced on the grounds of the Aorangi compound on Saturday afternoon. The two finalists had a friendly chat before going to work. In short, the Serb thanked the Australian for his support in the public arena during his disagreements with the Australian judicial system. Fun moment.
- That day was the first of its kind at Wimbledon. Angela Okotoye He became the first champion of Kenya. with his marital partner Rose Marie Nijkampwon the junior tournament after a great comeback against the Canadians Kayla Cross And the Victoria Mboko. They won the match 3-6, 6-4, 11-9.