Home History books Elena Rybakina writes her name in the tennis history books as the first Kazakh to win Wimbledon

Elena Rybakina writes her name in the tennis history books as the first Kazakh to win Wimbledon

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Emotional and ecstatic, Elena Rybakina etched her name in the tennis history books as the first Kazakh to win Wimbledon.
Rybakina rallied from a set down to rob Ons Jabeur of their own slice of history with a 3-6 6-2 6-2 victory over world number 2 Tunisia in Saturday’s showdown at the All England Club.
Rybakina, 23, is also the youngest Wimbledon women’s champion since Petra Kvitova in 2011 after reducing Jabeur to a frustrated wreck in the hour and 48 minute title decider.
“I didn’t expect to be in the second week of a Grand Slam and Wimbledon. To be a winner is just amazing,” Rybakina said after retiring. as the new women’s champion.
“Honestly, I don’t have the words to say how happy I am.”

But the Moscow-born star’s triumph was not without controversy as tennis great John McEnroe questioned his participation following the All England Club’s ban on Russian and Belarusian players due to war. of Vladimir Putin against Ukraine.

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Rybakina declared her allegiance to Kazakhstan in June 2018, just after her 19th birthday, but is said to still have a home in Russia.
The world No. 23 tried to brush off questions about her defection throughout the tournament, saying she didn’t really have a footing when she traveled the world playing tennis.
“I just think it’s weird because of all that. I don’t want to get into politics here, but she’s Russian, isn’t she? It’s kind of weird because of all this ordeal not to allow the Russians to play,” McEnroe said. from the comfort of his BBC commentary booth.
“I can only say that I represent Kazakhstan. I didn’t choose where I was born,” Rybakina said.
“I’ve been playing for Kazakhstan for a very, very long time. I represent the biggest tournaments, the Olympics, which was a dream come true.
“People believed in me. Kazakhstan supported me so much. Even today I heard so much support. I saw the flags. So I don’t know how to answer these questions.”
While Russian men’s world No. 1 Daniil Medvedev was among those unable to compete, Rybakina won the women’s title for the concession by just two sets.

Jabeur had attempted to become the first African woman to win Wimbledon and the first Arab to win a Grand Slam singles title.

Wimbledon - Ons Jabeur Semi-Final

Ons Jabeur during their semi-final match at the 2022 Wimbledon Championships in London, UK on July 7, 2022. Source: AAP / Pennsylvania

But the 27-year-old was ultimately left behind with only being able to convert two of 11 break point chances, looking hot and bothered on the hottest day in the Championships yet.

“I love this tournament so much and I feel really sad but that’s tennis – there’s only one winner,” Jabeur said.

“I’m really happy to try to inspire many generations in my country – I hope they listen.”

Ons Jabeur remains Tunisia’s pride despite Wimbledon loss

Hailing her as the “pride of the nation” and “ambassador of happiness”, Tunisians remained captivated by tennis star Ons Jabeur on Saturday, celebrating her presence in the prestigious Wimbledon final despite her defeat.
Jabeur became the second player in the world and then made history as the first African or Arab woman to reach a Grand Slam singles final in the modern era.
Although she missed out on the title at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, she said she would learn from the experience and was looking forward to playing another final.

“I just try to inspire as many generations as possible,” she said.

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At a cafe not far from the Hammam Sousse tennis club where the 27-year-old started her career, a group of young Tunisian men watched the game intently, screaming with excitement at every point she won.
“It’s our Tunisian national product,” said Safwen Ghairi, a 21-year-old student.

He and his friends had rushed from their traditional Eid al-Adha meal to the cafe – one of the few open on the National Day which began on Saturday – to watch the game.

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Jabeur represents the African continent “and the region at Wimbledon”, Ghairi said. “It’s a real achievement.”
His friend Zaher Edine Dahman, 27, called Jabeur “our ambassador of happiness”.
“The authorities could never match the publicity Ons Jabeur brought to Tunisia, even though they spent millions,” he said.
“Before, we dreamed of a Tunisian player simply qualifying for Wimbledon, and today Tunisia is in the final,” he added.
His former coach Nabil Mlika told AFP after the match that Jabeur was “the pride of the nation”, wishing him good luck for the US Open, which starts next month.
Cafe worker Hafedh Amrouni, 25, said Jabeur had “graced” the country despite finishing second.
His success was rare good news for a North African country mired in an economic and political crisis, made more acute by the coronavirus pandemic and the impact of war in Ukraine.

On Friday, the country’s sports minister, Kamel Deguiche, said celebrations were planned after Wimbledon and that he wanted to officially award Jabeur the title of “minister of happiness”, adding: “It is the duty of the State towards her”.