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Wimbledon: Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan beats Ons Jabeur to win women's title

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Elena Rybakina has won the women’s title at Wimbledon by beating Ons Jabeur of Tunisia, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.

Rybakina is the first player representing Kazakhstan to win a Grand Slam singles title. She was born in Russia but switched nationalities in 2018.

The 17th-seeded Rybakina dropped only two sets in her seven victories at the All England Club.

Rybakina, who turned 23 last month, is the youngest woman to win the Wimbledon title since a 21-year-old Petra Kvitova in 2011.

Jabeur was looking to become the first Arab woman and first African woman to win a major tennis title. She came into the final on a 12-match winning streak and got off to a good start, winning the first set 6-3.

But Rybakina came back, her big serve and powerful forehand helping her to overcome Jabeur’s mix of spins and slices at Centre Court.

She won the second set to even the score at one set apiece, and went on to dominate the final set, serving out to win the title when Jabeur hit a backhand service return out.

The new champion was born in Moscow, but began representing Kazakhstan four years ago, when that country offered her funding to support her tennis career.

The switch has been a topic of conversation during Wimbledon, because the All England Club barred all players who represent Russia or Belarus from entering the tournament due to the war in Ukraine.

Rybakina is ranked No. 23. Since the WTA computer rankings began in 1975, just one woman ranked lower than Rybakina won Wimbledon — Venus Williams in 2007 at No. 31, although she had been No. 1 and already won three of her five career Wimbledon trophies.

This was the first women’s title match since 1962 at Wimbledon between two players who were making their debuts in a major final.

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