Underdog Elena Rybakina Stuns Frustrated Jabeur to Win Wimbledon - UBITENNIS
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Underdog Elena Rybakina Stuns Frustrated Jabeur to Win Wimbledon

In her first Grand Slam final, the Kazakh battled back from a set down to end the title dreams of the world No.2.



image - twitter.com/wimbledon

Elena Rybakina has become the youngest women’s Wimbledon champion since 2011 after defeating a highly animated Ons Jabeur on Saturday afternoon.


The world No.23 prevailed 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, to become the first Kazakh player in history to win a Grand Slam title at 23. It is the first time in her career she has beaten a player currently ranked in the world’s top two and it is only the second time that she has beaten a top 10 player on the grass. She is also the fourth lowest-ranked player to ever play in the final at SW19 after the Williams sisters and Sabine Lisicki since the ranking system was introduced in 1975.

“I’m speechless. I was super nervous before the match and during the match. To be honest, I am glad it finished because I had never felt anything like that,” said the new champion.
“I want to congratulate Ons. Everything you have achieved is amazing and it is not only an inspiration for the young juniors but everybody. You have an amazing game and we don’t have somebody like this on the Tour. It’s a joy to play against you.”

In what was a roller-coaster encounter Rybakina had to contend with nerves and a blistering start from her opponent before weathering the storm en route to victory. Hitting a total of 29 winners against 33 unforced errors, as well as winning 60% of her first service points. Meanwhile, Jabeur at times was highly emotional as she felt her opportunity of winning a major slowly slip away.

In what was a clash between two Grand Slam final debutantes, second seed Jabeur took a stronghold just three games into the match by breaking the blistering Rybakina serve. The Kazakh came into the final with the fastest average first-serve speed (109 mph) in the women’s draw. However, the Tunisians’ use of the slice and hitting deep towards the baseline overwhelmed her rival who was visibly nervous. This was clear at the end of the opener when Jabeur closed it out with the help of four consecutive Rybakina unforced errors.

After suffering that blow, Rybakina hit back stronger against Jabeur at the start of the second frame. A forehand down the line set her up with a chance to break, which she did with the help of a shot from her rival crashing into the net. It was at this point when Jabeur began to show visible signs of frustration with glares toward her camp and throwing her racket in the air. To make matters worse for the world No.2, she later failed to convert three break-back points during a marathon five-deuce game before dropping serve once again in the following game. Meanwhile, a now much calmer Rybankina took the match into a decider with relative ease. Doing so with a 117 mph ace.

The 17th seed continued her momentum into the decider by working her way to a 2-0 lead. As for her rival, she reached boiling point during the early stages after screaming at her team in the crowd when she failed to win one of the points.

Battling until the end, Rybakina came back from a 0-40 deficit in the sixth game to maintain her lead as she closed in on the title. Serving for the biggest win of her career, she prevailed on her first championship point at the expense of yet another Jebeur unforced error, her 23rd of the match.

I never expected to be in the second week of a Grand Slam at Wimbledon. To be a winner is just amazing,” said Rybakina.
“I wouldn’t be here without my team, so a big thanks to them.”

Rybakina’s triumph is ironic for officials at Wimbledon who have banned Russian and Belarussian players from participating in response to the war in Ukraine. She was born in Russia and spent 18 years living there before deciding to cut her ties with the Russian Tennis Federation after they were no longer willing to invest in her career. It was roughly four years ago when she started to represent Kazakhstan after negotiating a deal. Something other players have also done before.

As for runner-up Jabeur, she can still hold her head up high after becoming the first African woman in the Open Era to play in a major final.

“I Want to congratulate Elena and her team. You deserve this. Hopefully, it will be me next time,” she said.
“I love this tournament very much. I feel really sad but in tennis, there is only one winner. I am really happy that I am inspiring many generations from my country. I hope they are listening.”

Rybakina produced a total of 173 winners during her run to the Wimbledon title this year.

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Hamad Medjedovic wins the Next Gen Finals title in Jeddah



Hamad Medjedovic came back from one set down to beat Arthur Fils 3-4 (6-8) 4-1 4-2 3-4 (9-11) 4-1 after 2 hours and 11 minutes at the Next Gen ATP Finals at King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah. 


Medjedovic hit 38 winners to 21 unforced errors. 

The first set went on serve en route to the tie-break. Medjedovic earned a mini-break to take a 3-2 lead and held two set points at 6-4, but he was not able to convert them. Fils won four consecutive points to win the tie-break 8-6. 

Medjedovic earned a break in the second game to win the second set 4-1. 

Medjedovic becomes the sixth Next Gen ATP Finals champion, joining top 10 players Stefanos Tsitsipas, Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz. The 20-year-old Serbian player is the lowest-ranked champion in tournament history. 

Medjedovic started the third set with an early break in the first game. The Serbian player held on his serve to seal the set 4-2. 

Medjedovic recovered from squandering two match points at 6-4 in a thrilling tie-break of the fourth set at 5-6 and 7-8. Fils saved both chances on second serves and won four of the next five points to win the tie-break 11-9 forcing the match to a deciding set. 

to win the first five-set final in tournament history. The Serbian player won 88% and converted his third match point to clinch the biggest title of his career so far. 

Medjedovic earned a break in the second game of the fifth set. Fils earned himself a penalty point for a smash of his raquet and went down 0-3. Medjedovic held on his next service games and converted his third match point. 

“Two of us from Serbia. Djokovic won the big Masters, the real one, and I won the Next Gen. Obviously it’s a huge thing and I am happy to follow in his footsteps in some way. I can’t believe I have won this title. It’s going to give me a lot of confidence for 2024. Arthur is an amazing player. He is top 40 for a reason”, said Medjedovic. 

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Elena Rybakina headlines a strong line-up in Adelaide



Elena Rybakina, Zheng Qinwen, Carolina Garcia and Angelique Kerber will highlight the Adelaide International, a WTA 500 tournament.


Rybakina reached the final at the Adelaide International on her tournament debut in 2022, losing to now retired Ashleigh Barty. Rybakina went on to win her first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon later last year. The Kazakh player finished runner-up to Aryna Sabalenka in the Australian Open final in 2023. 

Zheng won her first WTA 500 title in Zhengzhou and reached the final in Zhuhai, ending the 2023 season at a career-high of world number 15. 

Angelique Kerber will make her come-back to the WTA Tour at the United Cup before playing her first WTA draw in Adelaide. Kerber gave birth to her daughter Liana last February. The German player won titles at the 2016 Australian Open and in Sydney 2018 and reached in Sydney 2014 and in Brisbane 2018. 

Kerber is one of the three former number 1 players, who are making her come-back on the WTA Tour after giving birth to their children. 

Caroline Wozniacki lost to eventual champion Coco Gauff in the Round of 16 at the US Open in her third tournament back. 

Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka is planning to make her return next January after giving back to her child Shai last July. 

“It’s definitely way more tournaments than I used to play. So I think some people will be happy with that. I realized that I don’t know how the beginning of the year is going to go for me. I don’t know the level of player and I think I have to ease into it. At the very least, I will set myself up for a very good end of the year”, said Osaka.

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Arthur Fils beats Luca Van Assche in all-French semifinal at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah



World number 36 Arthur Fils beat his friend Luca Van Assche 2-4 4-1 4-3 (7-1) 4-3 (8-6) in an all-French clash after 1 hour and 37 minutes to reach the final at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah. 


Van Assche, who was born in Belgium but moved to Belgium when he was three years old, broke serve in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead and served out the first set to 15. Van Assche won 12 of the last 14 points. 

Fils hit a couple of big forehands to earn three break points at 2-1 15-40. Van Assche saved one break point with a volley, but Fils converted his second chance to open up a 3-1 lead, as Van Assche netted a backhand. Fils served out with a hold at 15 to level the match at one set apiece. 

The first five games of the third set went on serve. Van Assche led 2-3 30-40 on Fils’serve to earn two set points. 

Fils saved them before racing out to a 5-0 lead. Van Assche won his first point with a forehand. Fils earned five set points and closed it out when Van Assche netted a backhand. 

Fils won 22 consecutive points on his first serve until 2-1 in the fourth set. Van Assche faced a match point at 2-3, but Van Assche saved it to force another tie-break. Fils opened up a 4-1 with a mini-break. Van Assche won three points to 4-4 before saving two match points at 4-6 and 5-6. Fils hit a forehand to earn a fourth match point and converted it when Van Assche sent a backhand over the baseline. 

Van Assche beat Fils in the boys’ singles final at 2021 Roland Garros. Fils won his first title in Lyon last May. 

“I played every point trying everything with my forehand, moving very good. I was very happy with the tie-break. Today was a tough match against a great friend. We have known each other since we were nine, so it was a little bit tough and I am happy with the win. I came onto the court with the mindset that I can win. The first set was tough, he was playing very good and defending so well, running very fast. I kept my focus and I am really happy with the win”, said Fils. 

Fils set up a final clash against Hamad Medjedovic, who advanced to the championships match, when Dominic Stricker was forced to withdraw in the second set due to a back injury in the semifinal. 

Medjedovic was leading 4-3 (7-5) 2-1 when Stricker walked to the net and ended the match. 

Medjedovic hit 12 winners to 3 unforced errors. The Serbian player won three matches in the round-robin group. 

Medjedovic won 93% of his first serve points in the first set. Stricker did not drop a point on his first serve. Medjedovic earned his only mini-break to seal the tie-break 7-5. 

Medjedovic earned an early break in the third game of the second set to take a 2-1 lead before Stricker retired from the match. 

Medjedovic reached two semifinals in Gstaad and Astana. He is coached by Viktor Troicki. Stricker advanced to the semifinals at the 2022 Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan. 

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