Wimbledon Daily Preview: Ons Jabeur Plays Elena Rybakina for the Ladies’ Singles Championship - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Focus

Wimbledon Daily Preview: Ons Jabeur Plays Elena Rybakina for the Ladies’ Singles Championship

Published

on

Ons Jabeur during her semifinal victory on Thursday (twitter.com/wimbledon)

For the first time in the Open Era, the Wimbledon ladies’ singles championship match features two players making their Major singles final debuts.  And both are also the first players from their countries to achieve this milestone.

 

Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur is a 27-year-old who has previously reached two Slam quarterfinals, including at this event a year ago.  She owns three career WTA titles, two of which came this season, and overall is 3-5 in finals.  Jabeur is an undefeated 11-0 on grass in 2022, and advanced to this stage dropping only two sets.  And as Reem Abulleil highlighted, she will play this final on the first day of Eid Al Adha, a holiday celebrated by Arabs and Muslims, many of whom will surely be watching Ons and cheering her on.

Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina is a 23-year-old who had previously reached one Slam quarterfinal, at Roland Garros a year ago.  She owns two career WTA titles, both of which came over two years ago, and overall is 2-6 in finals.  Rybakina started the 2020 season on a tear, with a record of 21-4 and advancing to four finals.  No player’s upward momentum was impacted by the pandemic more than Elena’s, but now she is into her first Major final with the loss of only one set.  She was actually born in Russia, and represented that country until 2018.  If she still did, Elena would have banned from playing in this tournament.

Also on Saturday, the gentlemen’s doubles semifinals will be played.


Ons Jabeur (2) vs. Elena Rybakina (17) – 2:00pm on Centre Court

Jabeur leads their head-to-head 2-1, and has taken their two most recent meetings, both of which occurred last season.  In Dubai, Ons prevailed in three sets.  In Chicago, Ons was up a set when Elena retired during the second set.  And Jabeur has been the better performer in 2022, with a record of 36-9, compared to 27-12 for Rybakina. 

Jabeur’s slice-and-dice style is tailor-made for this surface.  And her serving prowess is perhaps a bit underrated.  As per Simon Cambers, Ons has won 63% of second serve points, which leads the women’s event.  Yet it’s Rybakina’s serve that is a true weapon.  Across her last three matches, Elena has struck 26 aces and only one double fault.  And through all six of her matches, she’s won over 77% of her first serve points.

Rybakina certainly has the firepower to dictate play and decide the outcome on Saturday, but maintaining a high enough level and avoiding unforced errors against the variety of Jabeur will be challenging.  Ons has a lot more options in her arsenal, and possesses significantly more experience in big matches.  Elena has only played one tour final within the past 18 months, and she’s lost her last four.  By contrast, this is already Jabeur’s fifth final of the season, and she’s claimed two of her last three.  And considering their recent history head-to-head, Ons is a considerable favorite to win her first Major title on Saturday.


Other Notable Matches on Saturday:

Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic (2) vs. Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell (14) – Mektic and Pavic are looking to defend their title from a year ago.  Ebden and Purcell were finalists six months ago at the Australian Open, and Ebden was also a runner-up earlier this week in the mixed doubles event.  The Australians saved five match points in the third-set tiebreak of their semifinal, while Mektic and Pavic survived a fifth-set tiebreak in the same round.  These teams have never met before.


Saturday’s full Order of Play is here.

Focus

Rafael Nadal Announces First Tournament Since Injury

Rafael Nadal will make his ATP tour comeback in Brisbane.

Published

on

Rafael Nadal (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Rafael Nadal has confirmed the date for his comeback to the ATP tour as he looks to add more Grand Slam titles to his collection before his potential retirement.

 

The 22-time Grand Slam champion has announced that his comeback will take place on the first week of the calendar as he will play the ATP 250 tournament in Brisbane which starts on the 31st of December.

It will be Nadal’s first tournament since last year’s Australian Open after he suffered a hip injury at the event.

In a video on social media Nadal announced his return to the tour as he looks to make an impact in Brisbane, “After a year away from competition, it’s time to come back. It will be in Brisbane the first week of January,” Nadal stated.

https://twitter.com/RafaelNadal/status/1730557525097885909

January’s event will be a welcome sight to Nadal as he had initially been expected to return during the clay court season but the hip injury was much worse than expected.

That lead to Nadal doing a press conference in Mallorca where he not only said that he was withdrawing from Roland Garros but also hinted that 2024 could be his last year, “My idea and my motivation is to try to enjoy and try to say goodbye to all the tournaments that have been important for me in my tennis career during [next] year, and just try to enjoy that, being competitive and enjoying being on the court, something that today is not possible,” Nadal was quoted by The News as saying.

There is a high level of motivation for Nadal next year as he will want to win the Olympics at Roland Garros in Paris.

However before Nadal can think about the end of his career, the Spaniard will be determined to make an impact in Australia as he looks to stop Novak Djokovic’s dominance.

The tournament in Brisbane starts on the 31st of December while the Australian Open takes place on the 14th of January.

Continue Reading

Focus

Nick Kyrgios Opens Up About His Self-Harm Battle And Murray’s Support

Published

on

Nick Kyrgios (AUS) playing against Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) in the third round of the Gentlemen's Singles on No.1 Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 6 Saturday 03/07/2021. Credit: AELTC/Jonathan Nackstrand

Nick Kyrgios says he became addicted to pain during his battle with self-harm that lasted between 18 and 24 months.

 

In an exclusive interview with Piers Morgan Uncensored on TalkTV, the former Wimbledon finalist spoke about his mental health issues. Kyrgios has previously spoken publically about the topic but has now revealed further details about the extent he went through and the role Andy Murray played in supporting him. He was admitted to a psychiatric ward in London and contemplated suicide following the 2019 Wimbledon Championships.

“It was pretty dark to be honest,” Kyrgios told Morgan. “I won tournaments on the professional tour, drinking every night, self-harming, burning things on my arm, cutting myself for fun. It became an addiction of pain. I hated myself. I hated waking up and being Nick Kyrgios.”

One of those who tried to help the Australian address his self-harm problem was three-time Grand Slam champion Murray who noticed cuts on Kyrgios’ arms during one of their practice sessions four years ago. According to The Times, the former world No.1 then alerted Kyrgios’ manager John Morris about the cuts.

Paying tribute to the Brit, Kyrgios says Murray has supported him throughout his career. The 28-year-old has been ranked as high as 13th in the world and has won seven ATP titles. Besides his run to the Wimbledon final last year, he has also reached the quarter-final stage of a major on three other occasions.

“Andy was always a big supporter of me,” Kyrgios said. “As soon as I came on the tour, he kind of saw a work in progress and took me under his wing. Then he realised later in my career that I don’t think I was coachable or I was on my own path, but he was always someone that was looking out for me.
“He saw it [the self-harm] and he said, ‘What’s that on your arm?’ It was pretty bad at that stage. Andy obviously was trying to give me advice on it. But I was just so stuck in my ways at that time that I didn’t listen. Obviously I’m very thankful. I thank him a lot.”

Kyrgios, who has only played one match on the Tour this season due to injury, hopes that he can help others by speaking publicly about his mental health battle. Something he describes as ‘the most powerful thing in his career.’

“I feel like I’ve helped so many people after I opened up about it and put it on social media,” Kyrgios said.
“I’ve almost been a beacon for people who are struggling. When they feel like they’re overwhelmed and they’re going towards drinking, drugs and stuff, they open up and they feel like I’m relatable.
“That’s been the most powerful thing in my career; people coming to me with genuine issues.
“They send me photos in my Instagram, direct messages, self-harming and genuinely wanting to commit suicide.
“I have conversations with these people. Sometimes I’ve had phone calls with these people. That’s making a real difference and I’m just really proud.”

Kyrgios recently had a stint in broadcasting after working for The Tennis channel during the ATP Finals in Milan. He is continuing his rehab from injury but it is unclear as to when he will make his return to professional tennis.

Continue Reading

Focus

Hamad Medjedovic earns first place in Red Group at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah

Published

on

Hamad Medjedovic beat Abdullah Shelbayh 3-4 (6-8) 4-2 4-3 (7-5) 4-2 to earn first place in the Red Group with a perfect 3-0 record at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah. 

 

Medjedovic needed to win at least one set to reach the semifinals, while Shelbayh needed to win the match in three or four sets. Luca Van Assche qualified as the second-placed player from the Red Group.

Medjedovic will face Dominic Stricker in the semifinal, while Van Assche takes on Arthur Fils.  

Medjedovic fired 18 aces and won 88 % of his first-serve points. He saved all three break points against Shelbayh. 

Medjedovic fired a tournament-leading 45 aces and was broken twice. 

Medjedovic saved three break points to hold serve in the fourth game of the first set. Shelbayh went up a mini-break twice, but Medjedovic pulled back on serve both times. Shelbayh won the final three points to clinch the tie-break 8-6. Both players went on serve in the first five games before Medjedovic earned the break to win the second set 4-2. 

The third set went on serve with no break points en route to the tie-break. Shelbayh earned the first mini-break to take a 3-2 lead. Medjedovic pulled back on serve to draw level to 3-3. The Serbian player earned a second mini-break to close out the tie-break 7-5. 

Medjedovic started the fourth set with an early break in the first game. He held on his next service games and sealed the win on his first match point. 

Medjedovic set up a semifinal match against Dominic Stricker. Luc Van Assche will face Arthur Fils in an all-French semifinal.“It was a great match. I played really good after the first set He is a very good friend of mine. He is a very good player and obviously the crowd here loves him and I respect that. It was a pleasure to play in front of the crowd”, said Medjedovic. 

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending