Rybakina eases past Halep to set up Wimbledon final against Jabeur

London, 7 Jul: Russian-born Elena Rybakina overpowered former champion Simona Halep 6-3, 6-3 on Thursday to set up a Wimbledon final against Ons Jabeur.
Rybakina, who represents Kazakhstan, broke the 2019 champion four times in the match in a dominant display on Centre Court.
“It was really good, today I was mentally pre-pared and did everything I could and it was an amazing match,” she said.
“I think it’s going to be a great match (against Jabeur). She’s a great player, very tricky player. It’s not going to be easy to play against her drop shots and volleys.”
Former world number one Halep had not lost a set coming into Thursday’s match but was immediately under pressure against the big-serving 17th seed.
Rybakina, who stands six feet (1.84 metres) tall, raced into a 3-0 lead with an early break of serve and had break points in all of Halep’s service games in the first set.
Romania’s Halep, seeded one place above her opponent, did well to stay in touch but failed to carve out any break points of her own in the first set.
Rybakina, the first woman representing Kazakhstan to reach a Grand Slam semi-final, showed no mercy at the start of the second set, breaking again to establish an iron grip.
Halep broke to love in the fourth game to establish a foothold but a double fault in the following game handed the initiative back to her opponent.
Rybakina, the ace leader in the women’s tournament, sealed an impressive win on her first match point with a backhand winner down the line to break Halep again, wrapping up the match in 76 minutes.
The 23-year-old switched her nationality to Kazakhstan in 2018 to take advantage of greater financial help.
Russian and Belarusian players were banned from this year’s Wimbledon following the invasion of Ukraine.
Earlier, world number two Jabeur beat unseeded German Tatjana Maria 6-2, 3-6, 6-1. (AFP)