Russian-born Elena Rybakina powered back from a set down against Ons Jabeur to win the Women’s Wimbledon title on Saturday, denying the Tunisian world number two the chance to make African tennis history.
Jabeur raced out of the blocks but the 17th seed regrouped and dropped just four more games after the first set on the way to a 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory.
The 23-year-old, who had never previously progressed beyond the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam, said she had been “super nervous” before and during the match on a sun-baked Centre Court.
“I did not expect to be in the second week of a Grand Slam at Wimbledon,” she said. “To be a winner is just amazing. I don’t have the words to say how happy I am.”
Jabeur, the first Arab woman to reach a Grand Slam final, was attempting to become the first African woman to win a major.
Novak Djokovic underlined his recent dominance at Wimbledon with a composed and controlled fightback against Australia’s Nick Kyrgios to win a fourth consecutive men’s singles title.
In temperatures passing 30C in London, a 15,000 near-capacity crowd including royals and celebrities were enthralled in what was surely the hottest ticket in town. Djokovic had joked there would be “fireworks” in a match against a player who, like him, has shown the tendency to be combustible on the court.
Serbia’s Djokovic, 35, lost the first set after some incredible serving from Kyrgios, but ended up winning 4-6 6-3 6-4 7-6 (7-3) on Centre Court. It is Djokovic’s seventh SW19 men’s title and only Roger Federer has more.
After clinching victory with his third match point, Djokovic dropped to his haunches and picked a blade of the Centre Court grass to eat in what has now become a customary celebration.
It was a first major win of the year for the Serb, who was stopped from playing in the Australian Open after being deported because of his vaccination status, and lost to Rafael Nadal in the French Open quarter-finals.
Djokovic roared towards his box in delight at clinching victory, then put his arm around Kyrgios, who smiled as he received some words – seemingly of encouragement – from his opponent.
In his on-court victory speech, Djokovic told Kyrgios he would “be back” in a major final. “It is tough to find consolation words at a moment like this but you showed why you are one of the best players in the world,” he said. “I wish you all the best. I respect you a lot and you are a phenomenal talent.”
“He’s a bit of a god, I’m not going to lie. I thought I played well,” Kyrgios said as he congratulated Djokovic.
In the men’s doubles final, Australian pair Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell, the 14th seeds, beat Croatian defending champions Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (3/7), 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (10/2).
In the women’s doubles final between the No. 1 vs. No. 2 seeds, second-seeded Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova were crowned champions. In their second career championships appearance on Centre Court, the Czechs beat top-seeded Elise Mertens and Zhang Shuai 6-2, 6-4 to win their second Wimbledon title.
Neal Skupski and Desirae Krawczyk defeated Matthew Ebden and Samantha Stosur 6-4, 6-3 to claim the mixed doubles title.
It is the second consecutive Wimbledon mixed doubles crown for the British-American duo, who became the first pair to defend a mixed doubles title since Czech brother-sister duo Cyril Suk and Helena Sukova in 1997.