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Elena Rybakina wins Wimbledon women’s singles crown

WIMBLEDON, England — Elena Rybakina became the first tennis player from Kazakhstan to win a Grand Slam event, defeating Ons Jabeur of Tunisia to win the Wimbledon women’s singles title Saturday.

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Rybakina, 23, took a 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory at Wimbledon’s famed Centre Court to win her first Grand Slam title, the BBC reported.

Seeded No. 17 in the event, Rybakina dropped only two sets in her seven victories at the All England Club, according to The Associated Press. She became the youngest woman to win the Wimbledon singles title since 2011, when 21-year-old Petra Kvitova took the crown.

“I was super nervous before the match, during the match and I’m happy it’s finished,” Rybakina told fans at Centre Court as she accepted the winner’s trophy.

Rybakina was born in Russia but has represented Kazakhstan since 2018, when that country offered her funding to support her tennis career, the AP reported. The All England Club barred all players who represent Russia or Belarus from entering the tournament because of the war in Ukraine.

This was the first women’s title match since 1962 at the All England Club between two players who were making their debuts in a major final, the AP reported.

Rybakina rallied after losing the first set, using her big serve and a strong forehand to overcome Jabeur’s spins and slices.

“I ran today so much so I don’t think I need to do fitness anymore,” Rybakina said after the match.

“I want to congratulate Elena and her team,” the 27-year-old Jabeur. “Great job and she deserved this, and hopefully next time it will be mine.”