Elena Rybakina and Ons Jabeur will face off in the finals of Wimbledon after both won their respective semifinals at the grass court Grand Slam.
No. 17 seed Rybakina toppled No. 16 Simona Halep in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3 on Centre Court on Thursday. It’s the 23-year-old’s first Grand Slam final and she is the first player from Kazakhstan to reach a major final after becoming the first player from her country to reach a Grand Slam semifinal.
She’s also the youngest Wimbledon finalist since Garbine Muguruza in 2015.
Rybakina roars onto the biggest stageThe 23-year-old defeats Simona Halep 6-3, 6-3 to reach her first Grand Slam final#Wimbledon | #CentreCourt100 pic.twitter.com/u0jfhZlDEA— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 7, 2022
Rybakina roars onto the biggest stageThe 23-year-old defeats Simona Halep 6-3, 6-3 to reach her first Grand Slam final#Wimbledon | #CentreCourt100 pic.twitter.com/u0jfhZlDEA
On the other end of the court will be No. 3 seed Ons Jabeur, who is the first Tunisian, Arab and African woman to reach a Grand Slam final.
Jabeur beat “BBQ buddy” Tatjana Maria in three sets, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 in a 103-minute battle.
She’s now won 22 of her past 24 matches and has the opportunity to win her first Grand Slam. After the match, she said that last year’s tournament – which ended in a quarterfinal run – inspired her for her run this year.
“The dream kind of started last year when I enjoyed playing here, enjoyed the crowd,” she said. “I knew I was playing good on grass because of my game and everything. But last year, Melanie [Maillard] reminded me, my mental coach, I told her, ‘I’m coming back next year for the title,’ when I lost in the quarterfinals.”