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Elena Rybakina wins first major title at Wimbledon

Elena Rybakina celebrates with the the Venus Rosewater Dish after winning her first major title at Wimbledon. (John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images)

No. 17 seed Elena Rybakina kept her head as she charged to a three-set victory over No. 3 seed Ons Jabeur in the Wimbledon final Saturday.

The Kazakh star regrouped after falling to Jabeur 6-3 in the opening set, charging to a  victory behind back-to-back 6-2 set wins.

Keeping her composure, Rybakina rarely showed emotion, even after clinching the title, despite revealing she was “super nervous” during her post-match interview.

The 23-year-old admitted in the on-court press conference that she entered Wimbledon hoping just to make it into the second week of the tournament. Exceeding her own expectations, Rybakina used her powerful serve and sturdy groundstrokes to power past Jabeur’s cheeky drop shots.

Jabeur attempted to draw Rybakina into the net, a weakness of her game, but the 23-year-old stayed the course, relying on big shots to secure the victory. Saving all four of her break points in the second set and all three in the third set, Rybakina came up clutch down the stretch.

“She deserves this,” said Jabeur, complimenting Rybakina’s impressive performance after the match.

Jabeur made history Saturday as the first Tunisian and Arab woman ever to reach a Grand Slam final. “I am trying to inspire many generations from my country,” said Jabeur.

Rybakina also achieved a major first, becoming the first player from Kazakhstan to win a major title. The Wimbledon champion was born in Russia but switched to representing Kazakhstan in 2018 at the age of 18. The country provided career resources for the young star that Russia did not.

A stunned look stayed on Rybakina’s face throughout the award ceremony. “Unbelievable,” she muttered as she saw her name placed on the Wimbledon Champions’ Board.