WILL EVANS’ preview serves up Wimbledon tips for a fascinating women’s final between Elina Rybakina and Ons Jabeur.
23:05 (AEST), Sat 9th Jul @ All England Club, Wimbledon
History: Played 3: Jabeur 2 V Rybakina 1
History: Chicago Fall Tennis Classic, 2021 (SF): Jabeur d Rybakina 6-4 3-2 ret.
Final Thoughts: A brand new women’s grand slam champion will crowned in the 2022 Wimbledon final, with 17th seed Elina Rybakina and third seed Ons Jabeur both appearing in their maiden major decider.
Neither player had been beyond the last eight of a slam before this tournament. Jabeur reached the 2020 Australian Open and the 2021 Wimbledon quarters, while Rybakina got to last year’s French Open quarters.
Jabeur always shaped as one of the biggest threats at Wimbledon after taking out the German Open last month. The 27-year-old Tunisian has maintained that form, powering through the first four rounds against Mirjam Bjorklund, Kataryzna Kawa, Diane Parry and Elise Mertens in straight sets.
She recovered from an early hiccup to blast Marie Bouzkova away in the quarter-finals 3-6 6-1 6-1 before halting veteran Tatjana Maria’s fairytale run 6-2 3-6 6-1 in the semis.
The 23-year-old Rybakina arrived at Wimbledon under the radar after some modest grass-court form but she has cut a dominant path to the final. The Kazakh tyro negotiated some tricky match-ups against Coco Vandeweghe, Bianca Andreescu, Qinwen Zheng and Petra Martic to advance to the quarters without dropping a set.
Rybakina then overcame Aussie Ajla Tomljanovic 4-6 6-2 6-3 and produced arguably the most stunning performance of the tournament to subdue red-hot 2019 Wimbledon champ Simona Halep 6-3 6-3 in the semis.
The higher-ranked Jabeur unquestionably comes into the final under more pressure – she’s been regarded as the next grand slam-winning cab off the rank for some time. Rybakina boasts superior momentum courtesy of her dismantling of Halep and is striking the ball at a staggeringly high level. Early nerves from Jabeur could open the door for a head-to-head upset in what genuinely seems like a flip-of-the-coin final.