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Wimbledon PIX: Rybakina downs Halep to set up Jabeur final

Last updated on: July 07, 2022 22:36 IST
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Images from Wimbledon 2022 women's singles semi-finals on Thursday.

Clinical Rybakina powers into Wimbledon final

Kazakhstan's Elena Rybakina celebrates winning her semi-final match against Romania's Simona Halep

IMAGE: Kazakhstan's Elena Rybakina celebrates winning her semi-final match against Romania's Simona Halep. Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters

Elena Rybakina powered into the Wimbledon final by dismantling former champion Simona Halep 6-3, 6-3 on Thursday with a clinical display to reach her maiden Grand Slam showpiece.

 

Halep was caught in the crosshairs of an onslaught from the Russian-born Kazakh, who pummelled her Romanian opponent with rasping serves and savage forehands.

Romania's Simona Halep in action against Kazakhstan's Elena Rybakina

IMAGE: Romania's Simona Halep in action against Kazakhstan's Elena Rybakina. Photograph: Matthew Childs/Reuters

Halep, the champion in 2019, did not help her cause, with a string of double faults to hand Rybakina chances at key moments.

Yet the 17th seed needed little assistance, as she became the first player from Kazakhstan to reach a Grand Slam final, where she will meet Tunisian third seed Ons Jabeur.

Jabeur is first Arab in major final

IMAGE: Tunisia's Ons Jabeur beat Tatjana Maria of Germany to become the first Arab and first African woman to reach the Wimbledon final at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London on Thursday. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Tunisia's Ons Jabeur lifted the spirits of an entire continent as she became the first Arab and first African woman to reach the Wimbledon final with a rousing 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 victory over her barbecue buddy Tatjana Maria on Thursday.

Before she stepped on court, American great Billie Jean King said Jabeur was "using tennis as a platform to help Tunisia, help Africa and help Arabs" and the 27-year-old did just that as she finally ended the remarkable run of mum-of-two Maria.

IMAGE: Ons Jabeur with Tatjana Maria after the semi-final match. Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters

Maria, 34, was forced to save three break points in the opening game but was unable to prolong that resistance as she dropped serve in the third and seventh games before Jabeur sealed the opening set when the German smacked a backhand long.

However, the 103rd-ranked Maria refused to hand victory away on a platter to an opponent she calls "family" as she broke for a 3-1 lead in the second and held on to that advantage to draw level when the third seed sliced a backhand into the net.

IMAGE: Ons Jabeur plays a backhand. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

But Jabeur finally lived up to her world number two billing to run away with the third set and set up a final showdown with either Romania's 16th-seeded 2019 champion Simona Halep or Russian-born Kazakh 17th seed Elena Rybakina.

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Source: REUTERS
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