The 23-year-old Rybakina’s power game has propelled her to the final of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships. She made her way to victory in just 1 hour 15 minutes, handing Halep her first defeat at Wimbledon since 2018.
Rybakina will now face Tunisia’s No. 3 seed Jabur, a Grand Slam finalist, for the Wimbledon title on Saturday. Jabeur led his head-to-head 2-1, with Rybakina winning their first match in 2019, but Jabeur held both meetings last year.
This week, Rybakina became the first player to represent Kazakhstan, female or male, to reach a Grand Slam singles semi-final, and she has now gone a step further to break new ground for that country.
World number 23 Rybakina, who in 2015 became the youngest Wimbledon finalist since Garbine Muguruza, is seeking a third singles title of her career, but for the first time in two and a half years.
Rybakina won titles in 2019 Bucharest and 2020 Hobart, and reached four finals in her first five tournaments of 2020. However, Rybakina is 2–6 in the final on aggregate, including a loss to then-world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty in Adelaide. In January this year.
Rybakina has taken command of the “ace queen” this season, leading the WTA Tour in that figure. He added five aces on Thursday, bringing his total for the year to 219.
But Rybakina has displayed a variety of exceptional shots throughout the tournament, not just the serve. He again took charge from all areas of the court against Halep and defeated 17 victors.
Halep saw her 14 winners undone by eight double faults, two of which came in the face of break points. Former world No. 1 Halep didn’t lose a set en route to the semi-finals, but she couldn’t blunt a sharp hit by Rybakina, losing a full match to Kazakh for the first time.
Great groundstroke depth, ending with a winning forehand, gave Rybakina an immediate break for 2–0. Halep faced the next four break points, but was never able to return to serve, and Rybakina went ahead with a one-set lead.
Halep made three double faults in her first service game of the second set, but she eventually broke Rybakina with love to level the set 2-2. However, Rybakina’s more aggressive rallying in the next game gave her another break point, where Halep again double faulted.
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