Favorite Sabalenka, who knocked out eventual Swiss Belinda Bencic in the round of 16, dropped a set for the first time in her eleventh appearance this year, but kept her nerves under control in the end.
At first it seemed strange. He committed five double faults in the first set. However, from the second round, the formidable Belarusian took control of his serve and did not drop his serve until the end after two and a half hours. A break each – 3:1 in the second set, 4:3 in the third – was enough for Sabalenka.
But his first Grand Slam final was not without nerves and drama. In the last game, Sabalenka again had to fend off Rybakina’s break chance and only managed to save her fourth match point – thanks to her opponent’s forehand error.
Sabalenka’s first Grand Slam win was delayed. Under the wing of new Benzic coach Dmitry Tursunov, he established himself at the top of the world, but often lost decisive games due to his nerves. He lost three times in the Grand Slam semifinals. “I want to be more boring on the pitch and cause less drama,” planned the player, who sports an eye-catching tiger tattoo on her arm. Boring, but not too soon to say successful.
Sabalenka is only the second Belarusian to win a major after Victoria Azarenka (Australian Open 2012 and 2013). He will move from No. 5 to No. 2 in the world rankings on Monday. Moscow-born Rybakina also enters the top ten for the first time. The win at Wimbledon still doesn’t affect the rankings, as the Russians and Belarusians are excluded and have no WTA points.
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