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The Russian-born Kazakhstan player! 10 things to know about new Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina

Elena Rybakina

Bengaluru, July 9: Elena Rybakina became the 23rd different Wimbledon female winner in the Open Era as the Kazakhstan player beat Tunisia's Ons Jabeur 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 in a groundbreaking contest on Centre Court on Saturday (July 9) between two females contesting their maiden Grand Slam major finals.

The No.17 seed prevailed in the summit clash which lasted an hour and 48 minutes against the in-form Jabeur, who had won 11 matches in a row, to win just her third career title - and a first since 2020.

In the process, the 23-year-old, who had lost her past four finals, becomes the youngest female to win the singles title at the All England Club since Petra Kvitova in 2011.

Wimbledon 2022: Elena Rybakina creates history, becomes first player from Kazakhstan to win a Grand Slam titleWimbledon 2022: Elena Rybakina creates history, becomes first player from Kazakhstan to win a Grand Slam title

The Russian-born Kazakh player's SW19 title run saw her defeat two previous Slam winners -- Bianca Andreescu in the second round and Simona Halep in the semifinals; her defeat of Jabeur was her first win over a Top 10 player since beating Garbine Muguruza in the Tokyo Olympic quarterfinals.

Rybakina switched her nationality four years ago after receiving financial incentives to do that, so in a year when players representing Russia were banned from Wimbledon, her triumph has perhaps come at an inopportune moment for organisers.

Rybakina's previous best Grand Slam showing was at Roland Garros 2021, where she defeated Serena Williams to reach the quarterfinals before losing to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

This year's Wimbledon was only the second time she had contested the main draw in The Championships; on her debut last year, Rybakina made the fourth round before falling to Aryna Sabalenka.

"I'm speechless because I was super nervous before the match, during the match, and I'm honestly happy it's finished," said Rybakina, in her hour of glory.

Rybakina has many firsts to her credit and with OPTA inputs, myKhel.com digs deep into the statistical highlights of the Kazakh player's victory as well as 10 important highlights from the finals and the resultant triumph at the Centre Court.

Elena Rybakina

1. For the first time in the Open Era two female players at their maiden Grand Slam final were facing each other in the Championship match at Wimbledon.

2. Rybakina is the first Kazakh player (males included) to win a Grand Slam tournament in the Open Era.

3. At 23, Rybakina was the youngest female player to reach the final in Wimbledon since Garbine Muguruza in 2015.

4. Rybakina became the youngest female player to win the title in Wimbledon since Petra Kvitova in 2011.

5. Rybakina is the fourth lowest ranked (23) female player to reach the final in Wimbledon since 1984, only ranked higher than Serena Williams in 2018 (181), Venus Williams in 2007 (31) and Sabine Lisicki in 2013 (24).

6. Rybakina became the second-lowest ranked female player in the Open Era to win the title in Wimbledon (23) - ranked higher only than Venus Williams in 2007 (31).

7. It was her first career WTA-level final on grass court.

8. The win helped her break the 'final jinx'. Rybakina had lost her last four finals (St Petersburg 2020, Dubai 2020, Strasbourg 2020 and Adelaide 2022) - the last time she won a tournament was in Hobart 2020, in final against Shuai Zhang.

9. Rybakina had lost the four previous meetings against a top-2 opponent: the highest ranked opponent she has won against in her professional career so far was against Karolina Pliskova (No.3) in Dubai 2020.

10. Rybakina becomes 23rd different Wimbledon female winner in the Open Era.

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Story first published: Saturday, July 9, 2022, 21:33 [IST]
Other articles published on Jul 9, 2022