| By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff
Tunisia's Ons Jabeur is the first African-born woman to reach a major final.
Photo Credit: Rhea Nall/USTA

 

The women’s singles final at the 2022 Wimbledon Championships, and it will feature two first-time finalists.

Third-seeded Tunisian Ons Jabeur will take on Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina in Saturday’s final after both won their respective semifinals on Thursday.

Jabeur was up first, and she defeated good friend Tatiana Maria 6-2, 3-6, 6-1. Jabeur is the first African-born woman to reach a major final.

“It’s a dream coming true from years and years of work and sacrifice. I really happy it is paying off and I continue for one more match now,” said Jabeur. “I am a proud Tunisian woman standing here today. I try to inspire as much as I can. It is not just Tunisia. I want to see more and more Arab-African players on the tour. I just love the game.”

For Rybakina, she had to battle past former champion Simona Halep, who throughout her fortnight in London looked as if she was destined to win another Wimbledon title. But the big-hitting Rybakina put a stop to that, and defeated Halep routinely 6-3, 6-3 to seal her spot in the finals.

“I’m really happy with my performance as I played a solid match,” said Rybakina. “Usually, I have mental ups and downs but today I was mentally prepared, and it was a great match.”

The final will present a interesting contrast of playing styles as the power-hitting, big-serving Rybakina will meet the slice-hitting variety of Jabeur.

Jabeur is 2-1 against Rybakina all-time.