New Wimbledon women’s singles champions Elena Rybakina might have maintained a super-cool demeanour on-court in final against No. 3 Ons Jabeur of Tunisia, but the Kazakhstan No.17 seed said after her title triumph that she was “super nervous”.
Rybakina became the first player from Kazakhstan to win a Grand Slam singles championship with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory against Jabeur. Following her 1-hour, 48-minute triumph, she celebrated the victory with barely a fist pump.
But Rybakina said that all along she was so nervous that she kept telling herself it was just a match.
“I was super nervous. Yesterday (Friday) I had a good practice. But in (the) evening I already started to feel like I’m too nervous. In the morning (Saturday) also. But I was just trying to tell myself that it’s a match and I already had experience. I mean, for me the worse thing is if you’re up, then you lose the match. Unfortunately, I had many matches like this, so maybe it helped me a bit,” the 23-year-old was quoted as saying by wtatennis.com.
“I was trying to convince myself that it might happen again, and hopefully it’s not the last time I’m in the final. Not the first; not the last. I already did a great job with my team. With these kind of words I was trying to calm myself down,” she added.
Wimbledon is Rybakina’s third career title and her first since Hobart 2020. She had lost the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games’ bronze medal playoff last year. However, in the first Wimbledon title match between first-time Grand Slam finalists of the Open Era, Rybakina became the youngest woman to win the grass-court major since 21-year-old Petra Kvitova in 2011.
She is now the fourth-youngest active major champion on the WTA Tour, older than only Poland’s Iga Swiatek, Canada’s Bianca Andreescu and Great Britain’s Emma Raducanu.
On her match against the gritty Tunisian, Rybakina said that after losing the first set, she was determined to give Jabeur a tough fight.
“Ons, she played well. I needed time to adjust to her game. But then after I thought that I’m going to fight till the end no matter what. Just tried to focus on every point because it was very tough. It was super hot. I think because I was nervous physically, I thought I cannot anymore. But in the end I was just running to all these drop shots. I think it was (the) first time really when I run so much to all these tricky shots from Ons.”
Rybakina’s calm celebration became the talking point following her victory. She barely raised her fist before reaching out to shake hands with her opponent.
“I’m always very calm. I don’t know what should happen. When I was giving speech in the end I was thinking, ‘I’m going to cry right now,’ but somehow I hold it. Maybe later when I’m going to be alone in the room, I’m going to cry nonstop. I don’t know.
“Maybe because I believe that I can do it deep inside. But same time it’s, like, too many emotions. I was just trying to keep myself calm. Maybe one day you will see huge reaction from me, but unfortunately not today.”