Wimbledon: Elena Rybakina shocks former champion Simona Halep to reach final | Tennis News


Elena Rybakina powers into Wimbledon final by dismantling 2019 champion Simona Halep with a clinical display to reach her maiden Grand Slam showpiece; Rybakina will meet Ons Jabeur follow live build-up and then game-by-game updates of Saturday’s final in our blog

Last Updated: 07/07/22 6:28pm

Elena Rybakina upset Simona Halep to reach her maiden Grand Slam final at Wimbledon

Elena Rybakina upset Simona Halep to reach her maiden Grand Slam final at Wimbledon

Elena Rybakina stunned former champion Simona Halep in straight sets to reach a maiden Wimbledon final.

The Russian-born Kazakh’s relentless display of powerful hitting proved too much for 2019 winner Halep as a 6-3 6-3 victory booked a Saturday showdown with third seed Ons Jabeur.

“Simona is a great champion but I was really focused today and really happy with my performance,” the 23-year-old said.

“I was nervous, of course, but the matches I had before on Court One helped. It was my first time on Centre Court but the atmosphere I had before helped me a lot.

“I think today I was mentally prepared and did everything I could. It was an amazing match.

“Ons is a very good, very tricky player and it’s not going to be easy to play her drop shots. But I think it’s going to be a great match.”

Rybakina, who was born in Moscow and still lives there, dodged Wimbledon’s ban on Russian players having switched to represent Kazakhstan four years ago.

That decision, taken in order to receive more funding, has paid dividends for both parties as the world No 23 became the first Kazakh player to reach a Grand Slam final.

Halep had blitzed her way past seeded opponents Paula Badosa and Amanda Anisimova as she looked for a third major title.

But the Romanian could not buy a first serve, with nine double faults to Rybakina’s five aces telling its own story.

It was a double fault, followed by a fizzing forehand winner, that gave Rybakina an early break.

At 4-1 Rybakina successfully challenged a line call to bring up two more break points but this time Halep wriggled out of trouble.

But the pressure from Rybakina was telling and another double fault brought up a set point which Halep also had to negotiate to hold for 5-3.

It was just putting off the inevitable, though, with a 118mph ace giving Rybakina three set points.

Halep saved two but when a forehand floated wide Rybakina had impressively clinched the first set in 37 minutes.

Things went from bad to worse for Halep at the start of the second with two more double faults, the second on break point, putting Rybakina seemingly in control.

This time Halep was able to break back, but her good work was immediately undone by another serving blip.

At 5-3 on the Halep serve Rybakina struck the killer blow, a booming backhand down the line to secure her place in the final.

Rybakina vs Halep: Match Stats

Rybakina Match Stats Halep
5 Aces 0
0 Double Faults 9
73% 1st serve win percentage 69%
53% 2nd serve win percentage 38%
4/9 Break points won 1/1
22 Total winners 16
16 Unforced errors 15
63 Total points won 52

Painful defeat for Salisbury & Ram

Britain’s Joe Salisbury and American Rajeev Ram missed five match points in a painful semi-final defeat by Australian duo Matt Ebden and Max Purcell.

Top seeds Salisbury and Ram were bidding to reach a first Wimbledon final together and looked well on their way when they won the first two sets.

They also led 6-4 in the third-set tie-break and had five chances to win it, two of them on their own serves, but could not take any and from there the momentum swung.

Ebden and Purcell, who also defeated Ram and Salisbury at the same stage of the Australian Open, made their opponents pay fully for their missed opportunities, completing a 3-6 6-7 (1-7) 7-6 (11-9) 6-4 6-2 victory.

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