Elena Rybakina came from behind to beat Ons Jabeur and claim her first Grand Slam title with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 win in the Wimbledon women’s final on Saturday.
Rybakina, born in Russia but playing for Kazakhstan, completed an unlikely run as she entered the tournament with odds of +10000 at major sportsbooks.
Rybakina uses power game to win first Grand Slam
Those odds were justified. Rybakina came into Wimbledon with the No. 23 ranking in the world, making her the lowest-ranked woman to win the tournament since Venus Williams did so as the No. 31 player in the WTA rankings back in 2007.
The 23-year-old won behind a power game that includes one of the biggest serves on the WTA tour. Rybakina leads the tour with 221 aces on the season, including 53 at Wimbledon.
“It is frustrating to play someone that serves really big and doesn’t give you the chance sometimes to take that break,” Jabeur said afterwards. “It wasn’t meant to be.”
Rybakina said she was “happy that it finished” in her post-match interview, and later explained her feelings after the win.
“When I was giving [a] speech in the end, I was thinking, ‘I’m going to cry right now,’ but somehow I hold it,” Rybakina said later. “Maybe later when I’m going to be alone in the room, I’m going to cry nonstop. I don’t know.”
The victory put Rybakina on the map for future Grand Slams, including the upcoming US Open. DraftKings Sportsbook lists Rybakina as a +1400 pick to win in New York this September. World No. 1 Iga Swiatek (+250) remains the favorite for the US Open, ahead of Naomi Osaka (+600) and Simona Halep (+900).
Djokovic unlikely to play in US Open due to vax status
On Sunday, Novak Djokovic won his fourth straight Wimbledon title – his seventh overall and his 21st Grand Slam – by beating Nick Kyrgios in four sets. Once again, Djokovic fell behind early before rallying to win 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3).
In key moments, Djokovic remained calm and focused, while Kyrgios showed the frustration and vulnerability that’s plagued him during big points throughout his career.
“It’s weird, I felt like he didn’t do anything amazing today,” Kyrgios said afterward. “But he was just so composed. That’s what I was just thinking to myself. In big moments, it just felt like he was never rattled. I feel like that’s his greatest strength.”
Djokovic started Wimbledon as the clear favorite and never looked back. DraftKings now lists him as the +150 pick to win the US Open as well. However, it currently seems unlikely that Djokovic will play in the tournament, which begins in late August.
“I’m not vaccinated and I’m not planning to get vaccinated, so the only good news I can have is them removing the mandated green vaccine card or whatever you call it to enter United States or exemption,” Djokovic said afterwards. “I don’t think exemption is realistically possible. If that is a possibility, I don’t know what exemption would be about.”
If the United States doesn’t ease its restrictions on entry, and Djokovic doesn’t play, Russia’s Daniil Medvedev (+225) would likely become the favorite to defend his US Open title. Carlos Alcaraz (+400), Rafael Nadal (+550), and Alexander Zevrev (+900) would also be among the top picks to win the last Grand Slam of the year in Djokovic’s absence.