Elena Rybakina wins the Wimbledon women's final for her first Grand Slam

By: Dheeraj Mehra

WIMBLEDON, England — Too nervous to wave, Elena Rybakina stepped into the Centre Court sunshine

before the Wimbledon final Saturday and kept a firm double-grip on the black-and-red straps of the racket bag slung over her shoulders.

No wave. Not much of a look around. Her play early on betrayed some jitters, too, which makes sense considering it was her debut in a Grand Slam title match.

Nearly two hours of big swinging and plenty of sprinting later, she had won the championship at the All England Club with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Ons Jabeur —

the first singles trophy at a major tournament for her adopted country of Kazakhstan.

Even then, Rybakina's reaction was muted as can be, a little sigh, a hint of a smile.

"Happy that it finished, to be honest," the 23-year-old said, "because really, I never felt something like this."

She was born in Moscow and has represented Kazakhstan since 2018, when that country offered her funding to support her tennis career.

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