LONDON: Elena Rybakina smiled, but just. A shallow fist-pump and a brief wave to the bleachers signaled her Wimbledon triumph. The 23-year-old’s first Grand Slam victory.
The Russian-born Kazakh, who rebounded from a set down, landing her first serves and delivering the one-two punch with the gusto of a sniper, earned a 3-6 victory , 6-2, 6-2 against the world No. 1. 2 Ons Jabeur on a central court bathed in sunlight. Someone in the crowd pushed Rybakina towards her box. She then ran quietly around the field to meet her local people – coach Stefano Vukov, mentor Yaroslava Shvedova, the President of Kazakhstan Tennis Russian Bulat Utemuratov and his sister Anna.
“I’m speechless, I’ve never felt anything like this. Thanks to the public for their support. I didn’t think I would make the second week of the tournament at first, so to be a winner is amazing,” Rybakina said after collecting the Venus Rosewater Dish from the Duchess of Cambridge, who lent to post-glory glory. midi to a canary yellow ankle-length dress.
“I also want to congratulate Ons for everything she has achieved. You are an inspiration not only to juniors, but to everyone. There is no one like you on the Tour. I race so much today, no need to do more fitness.At the other end of the court, Jabeur, who was looking to extend her historic charge for the Arab and African world, sat in her place at the edge of the court and Didn’t look up, shoulders hunched and head bowed.
“Congratulations, Elena and her team, great job. Elena stole my title, I hope next time it will be mine,” the 27-year-old Tunisian said laughingly. “I couldn’t do this without my team so thank you for believing in me. I try to inspire people in my country. I want to say Eid Mubarak to all Muslims around the world.
Rybakina’s journey consisted of sideways movement, until she took the next step. Local or national recognition didn’t come early for the Moscow native, whose former coaches included Russian pros Andrei Chesnokov and Evgenia Kulikovskaya. She changed nationality to Kazakhstan in 2018 after they promised her financial support.
The 23-year-old, who was ranked No.12 18 months ago, has battled injuries and illnesses, including a serious bout with Covid-19. The world No. 23, famous for his composure, has crossed this week on the grass, including a fast but rarely true surface.