Thursday, July 7, 2022

Rybakina and Jabeur to compete for Wimbledon title

No one has been on a more expansive improvement track than Ons Jabeur. We knew that she was getting closer and closer to reaching something big, and today, she did just that--she defeated her friend, Tatjana Maria 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 to advance to the 2022 Wimbledon final. It was an entertaining match, given that both Jabeur and Maria possess a variety of shots, and they used them all. It didn't equal Maria's semifinal in intensity and thrills, but it was nevertheless well played by both competitors.

And few have come as "close to being close" as Elena Rybakina. Much has been expected of her for some time, but she has had trouble closing big matches. Not yesterday, and not today. Today, the 17th seed defeated 2019 Wimbledon champion Simona Halep 6-3, 6-3. Rybakina had first and second serve percentages of 73 and 53, and she had a winners-to-unforced errors ration of 22-16. She broke Halep four times.

Halep, for her part, saw only one break opportunity, which she converted. She also double-faulted a non-characteristic nine times. In sbort, it was all about Rybakina. 

Jabeur is the first Tunisian person (and the first African woman) to reach a major singles final. Rybakina is the first player from Kazakhstan to reach a major singles final.

Here are the players' paths to the final:

round 1—def. Coco Vandeweghe (LL)

round 2—def. Bianca Andreescu
round 3—Zheng Qinwen
round of 16—def. Alize Cornet
quarterfinals—def. Ajla Tomljanovic
semifinals—def. Simona Halep (16)

round 1—def. Mirjam Bjorklund (Q)
round 2—def. Katarzyna Kawa (Q)
round 3—def. Diane Parry
round of 16—def. Elise Mertens (24)
quarterfinals—def. Marie Bouzkova
semifinals—def. Tatjana Maria

Also today, Desirae Krawczyk and Neal Skupski successfully defended their 2021 mixed doubles title. Krawczyk now has three major mixed doubles titles.

Wheelchair singles competition began today also, with top seed Diede De Groot and 2nd seed Yumi Kamiji winning their quarterfinal matches. De Groot and her partner, Aniek Van Koot, also won their semifinal doubles match today.

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