Why and how
We could imagine it: even before being tennis, the outcome of this final was necessarily going to be played largely on the emotional ground, between two players playing their first Grand Slam final.
That in itself is already extremely stressful. At Wimbledon, it is perhaps even “worse” (given the solemn context), especially since the thing is extremely rare. We had to go back to 1962 to find traces of a Wimbledon ladies’ final between two neophytes.
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For a set, the first, we thought that this emotional aspect was going to catch up with Rybakina, who was quite catastrophic during this first round. But the great Kazakh managed to calm down and put in place her destructive tennis at the same time as she regained her quality of service. It is true that being able to rely on such a service, in such a context, helps…
Conversely, Ons Jabeur gradually lost her lucidity, which was seen in the way she seemed to get lost in her tactical schemes. She began to use less and less the slice, yet so effective at the start of the match, and embarked on a campaign of less prolific amortizations. To be honest, the Tunisian seemed a little panicked.
The key moment
We see two. First the start of the second set, when Jabeur, broken at the start, missed an opportunity to come back immediately, and especially three more two games later. With some regrets on the last of them, missed by a backhand fault.
Re-belote in the 3rd set: broken from the start, Jabeur had three break points – this time consecutively – at 3-2, 0-40. She missed them there again, including one on a slightly greedy cushioning when she was well settled in the exchange. His luck had passed.
|STATISTICS||ELENA RYBAKINA||OUR JABEUR|
|Percentage 1st balls||60%||54%|
|Success behind the 1st ball||63%||69%|
|Success behind the 2nd ball||57%||48%|
Wimbledon is no longer the ocean of tranquility it once was, including among women. Elena Rybakina is the 6th different player to win there in six editions, after Serena Williams (2016), Garbiñe Muguruza (2017), Angelique Kerber (2018), Simona Halep (2019) and Ashleigh Barty (2021). A record turnover in the Temple since the start of the Open era.
Elena Rybakina with the Venus Rosewater Dish in her hands.
Credit: Getty Images
“I want to thank the president of the Kazakh Federation, who was there to encourage me in the final and who was already there for my half. Thank you, your support has been incredible.”
We do not know if it is to defuse the controversy over her Russian origin (Russia, it should be remembered, having been banned from this Wimbledon), but Elena Rybakina, during her speech, insisted on the help brought by his adopted country, Kazakhstan. Who, thanks to her, is therefore for the first time on the list of victorious countries in the Grand Slam (in singles).
The question: Did Ons Jabeur miss his chance?
At the very least, she missed a golden opportunity. Playing a first Grand Slam final avoiding the ogress of the moment (Iga Swiatek) or any other announced contender, but on the contrary facing another neophyte lower ranked than her, it was a fantastic opportunity for the Tunisian, who dreamed of becoming the first representative of the Arab world and the African continent to win a major title (for women).
“Now in the Top 10, it’s Jabeur’s turn to dream of a Grand Slam”
This defeat, let’s not hide it, could hurt him. Now, Ons Jabeur’s progress has been so regular for two years, its project now so coherent and structured that there is no reason why it should not come back one day to taste the intoxication of the summits. With this time the necessary emotional maturity. After all, she is the “true” world No. 2, even if the absence of points at Wimbledon will earn her a drop to No. 5 on Monday.
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