Ons Jabeur and Elena Rybakina will meet in the women’s final, with one of the first-time finalists set to etch their place in Wimbledon history.
According to Wimbledon odds, Jabeur opened the tournament at +2800 to win her first Grand Slam crown. Wimbledon betting odds had Rybakina at +1600 before the tournament’s commencement.
Both players masterfully navigated their sides of the draw, with Rybakina dropping one set and Jabeur conceding two en route to Saturday’s final.
Wimbledon Odds: Elena Rybakina (+125) vs. Ons Jabeur (-149)
Jabeur needed three sets (6-2, 3-6, 6-1) to eliminate long-time friend and surprise semi-finalist Tatjana Maria. Jabeur, the world No. 2, took her foot slightly off the gas in the second set, allowing the rangy German back into the contest.
Jabeur then showcased her astounding versatility and adaptability on grass to take command in the third and decisive set.
The 27-year-old, with every successful performance, has cemented her position as one of the world’s elite grass-court players. She is 11-0 this season on natural turf and 21-2 dating back to last year.
Her skill set is tailored for the lawns of the All England Club. She serves accurately and with pace (average first serve of about 100 mph), can match ground strokes with power hitters, has a deft touch perfect for drop shots, and is able to disguise her strokes better than anyone on tour.
That versatility and trickery caused nightmares for Maria, who ran out of ideas in a heavily lopsided third set.
"This shot should be impossible"
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 7, 2022
Including Wimbledon, the Tunisian has reached the final in four of her last five tournaments.
She’s looking for her third tournament win in the last two months. Of course, her two previous tournament wins – Mutua Madrid Open and bett1 Open – pale in comparison to Wimbledon’s profile, pomp and elevated stature.
She was the heavy favorite against Maria and will take the pole position again come Saturday. Jabeur is also the first Tunisian, Arab and African to progress to a Grand Slam final in the Open Era.
Unlike Jabeur, Rybakina was the decisive underdog going into her semifinal match against Simona Halep.
Yet the Kazakh executed her game plan with aplomb, oozing an elevated brand of confidence and composure rarely seen in a 23-year-old.
Like Jabeur, Rybakina thoroughly enjoys playing on grass. She has won 21 of 28 grass-court matches, a 75% success rate.
Rybakina is still only 23 years old and has taken this gargantuan Wimbledon challenge in stride. Her second appearance at The Championships couldn’t more starkly contrast her first visit when she was ousted in the opening round a year ago.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 7, 2022
Rybakina, if she strikes her serves as purely and accurately as she did against Halep and plays with the same level of composure, will pull off yet another upset to win her first Wimbledon crown.
She averaged 108 mph on her first serve in the semifinal against Halep, making life miserable for one of the world’s best returners.
Some of the most famous victories at Wimbledon were headlined by missile-like first serves. Centre Court plays quickest on final Saturday and Sunday, benefitting the game’s biggest servers most.
Rybakina dominated Halep (6-3, 6-3) and was completely unaffected by the magnitude of the moment. The world No. 23 definitely didn’t let on if any pre-match nerves impact her.
While it won’t be easy to repeat that immaculate semifinal performance, it appears as if she’s ready to step into the spotlight for her transcendent Centre Court moment.
Look for Rybakina to edge Jabeur in three sets to cap off an improbable, masterful fortnight in London.
Pick: Rybakina (+125), Three Set Victory (+375)
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