Elena Rybakina powers past Ons Jabeur to Wimbledon title

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Kazakhstans Elena Rybakina poses with the trophy after winning the womens singles final against Tunisias Ons Jabeur.  — Reuters
Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina poses with the trophy after winning the women’s singles final against Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur.  — Reuters 

LONDON: Elena Rybakina produced a sensational display of power tennis to beat Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur 3-6 6-2 6-2 and become the first player from Kazakhstan to win a Grand Slam singles title at Wimbledon on Saturday.

Jabeur, bidding to become the first African woman and first Arab to win a Grand Slam singles title, settled quickly to take the opening set in blazing sunshine.

But the 23-year-old Rybakina began to find her mark with her powerful serve and groundstrokes and seized control.

She looked nervous serving at 5-2 in the decider but stayed composed to claim the title, barely celebrating as Jabeur fired wide on match point.

With Russian and Belarussian players banned from the grasscourt major following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, Rybakina would have been excluded from this year’s Wimbledon had she not switched allegiance from Russia four years ago.

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