The semi-finals of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships are in the books and we now know the final! On Saturday, Ons Jabeur will take on Elena Rybakina for the Venus Rosewater Dish and a first Slam title. This is the penultimate post on MTB of the tournament with a review of how the semi-finals unfolded. Read on for day 11 highlights…
SF #1 🎾
Ons Jabeur is the first African woman and Arab player to reach the final of a Slam! In the first of the semi-finals, Jabeur beat good friend Tatjana Maria, 6-2 3-6 6-1. It would have been a great story no matter who won this match… but I had my heart set on Ons!!! It was a very enjoyable match to watch and variety for the win.
The story of the first set was that Jabeur handled Maria’s slice beautifully and was winning more points than her opponent at the net, of which there were many. Jabeur had break points to go up a set and a break. Didn’t take them and that proved decisive in the second set. Jabeur seemed to lose her focus and Maria began her charge. Suddenly Maria’s slice started to cause Jabeur some problems and force some errors. One set all.
The third set was another story and the most lopsided of them all. That first service game of the third set for the player that lost the second set always feels so crucial. Jabeur got off to a great start, winning the first game with a trademark jumping backhand winner, and then never looked back. Jabeur was accelerating through the ball again like in the first set and had all the answers as Maria’s challenge faded. A smash into the back fence from Maria gifted Jabeur a double break and Jabeur served out the match to 15 to create history. And what lovely, precious scenes at the end of the match 🥰.
SF #2 🎾
Elena Rybakina produced a near flawless display to end Simona Halep‘s winning streak at SW19 with a 6-3 6-3 victory. After some tough losses in 2021, notably at the Olympics, Rybakina was one of those players that I couldn’t envisage having a run like this until it actually happened. Well it’s happened, folks! 😂
This was peak Rybakina. Huge first serves. Huge ballstriking and using the angles to open up the court and get Halep on the run. There is a purity to the way that Rybakina strikes the ball and the sound off the racquet is sweeet 🔥. There was just one poor game where Rybakina lost her early break in the second set with a game of unforced errors. It proved to be just a brief lull in proceedings.
Halep had a bad day on serve and it was a surprise because she had been serving so well at this tournament. Up to the semis, Halep had won 63% of second serve points. Against Rybakina, Halep won just 38% of second serve points, hit nine doubles faults and was twice broken on doubles. I expected a struggle for Rybakina in closing out the match. Nope. Rybakina’s last two service games were pretty emphatic and she sealed the win with a magnificent return winner down-the-line. Too good. TG.
Spoiler alert – this will be in the 2022 season ending post! Ultimate class from Ons when she brought Tatjana back into the centre of the court to share the applause.
Funny moment 🤣
Snaps of the day 📸
Posting these pictures again because ❤❤❤.
Recommended media 📺
What a moment.
Recommended reading 📚
This is one of the most interesting articles i’ve read all year. Well worth a read!
Final thoughts 🤔
I’m such a fool. I’ve got my hopes up about so many potential match-ups at this tournament and they’ve all fallen at the last hurdle. I was dreaming of Jabeur-Halep in the final. Jabeur-Rybakina is still going to be a very interesting final and it’s always excited to see a new Slam champ crowned!