Wimbledon: Ons Jabeur and Elena Rybakina's to vie for glory and history in the final

Jabeur bested Tatjana Maria while Rybakina left Simona Halep way behind in the penultimate round

by Abbey Johnson
Wimbledon: Ons Jabeur and Elena Rybakina's to vie for glory and history in the final

It will be a clash of first-time finalists in the women’s draw at 2022 Wimbledon as Ons Jabeur and Elena Rybakina won their respective semi-finals on Thursday. In the first semi-final, Jabeur beat her friend, Tatjana Maria while in the second semi, Rybakina stunned Simona Halep.

Jabeur needed an hour and 43 minutes and three sets to vanquish Maria, whose trip this far into the tournament had involved playing three-setters and making comebacks. In the end, the third seed prevailed 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.

Wimbledon: Ons Jabeur and Elena Rybakina's fourth meeting

Slices dominated the tactical pattern of the match but where Jabeur’s slices kept Maria off-balance, Maria’s weren’t lethal enough to shake her rival’s comfortableness in the match.

Maria was also let down by her serve for most parts of the match. The second set, however, was an exception as Maria’s serve ticked that helped her to win the set and level the match. The German won 80% of her first-serve points in the second set as compared to 52% and 44% in the first and third sets.

Meanwhile, Jabeur won 68% of her first-serve points in the second set while winning 60% and 86% in the first and third sets. In terms of winners and unforced errors, the Tunisian hit 39 winners and 30 unforced errors, both of which outnumbered Maria’s tally of 17 and 27.

In the latter match, Rybakina completed a 6-3, 6-3 win over 2019 winner, Halep in an hour and 16 minutes. Halep, who’d entered the match after posting comprehensive wins over fourth seed Paula Badosa in the fourth round and Amanda Anisimova in the quarter-finals, had no answers to give to Rybakina’s powerful shots.

The former world no. 1’s serve came under pressure from the first game itself and as her 17th-seeded opponent went about finding winners from all parts of the court, she also made Halep look she was playing the semi-finals of a Grand Slam for the first time.

Rybakina lost her serve only once in the second set and she went on to break Halep a total of four times. She ended the match with six more winners than Halep’s 16 and just the one unforced error more than the 16th seed’s 15.

Going into the Wimbledon final, Ons Jabeur, who’s the first person from her country to reach the final at the Championships and a Major, carries a 2-1 win-to-loss record against Elena Rybakina. Photo Credit: AELTC/Joel Marklund

Ons Jabeur Tatjana Maria Simona Halep