Here we have a Tunisian born 27 year old who is the first woman from the African continent to reach a Slam final up against a 23 year old born in Moscow who lives in Moscow yet is allowed to compete at this years Wimbledon because in 2018 she changed nationality to Kazakhstan as their tennis federation were prepared to give her more funding, talk about a good move. It’s two incredible stories; it’s Ons Jabeur vs Elena Rybakina.
Why Rybakina will win
Sitting on the couch watching this 6ft first time slam finalist rocket the ball around the court is something to witness. It’s raw power, served with extra mustard. Elena has hit 49 aces so far in the tournament, a few at 121mph, which is getting close to men territory. She held her nerve well in the semi’s against an experienced Halep, if she can hold her nerve here all this power will get her over the line.
Why Jabeur will win
Variety, variety, variety. Watching Ons is a real treat, she’d go well in midweek ladies doubles, drops shots, slices, lobs, she has it all. To top it off, she speaks four languages as well, impressive. Rybakina likes the ball coming on to her, right in the strike zone, Jabeur will do everything to avoid that, slow balls, short balls, angles, this will be a contrast in styles. If Ons can keep the variety going, she’ll win.
Ons leads their head to head 2-1 but you can throw that out the window, in a Wimbledon final it means nothing. This match will be about who can hold their nerve, both of them haven’t been close to getting this far in any of the slams, Jabeur 4th round at the French in 2020/2021 and Rybakina QF French 2021.
A Slam final is another beast, especially the ‘Big W’. This is a tough one to pick, a 23 year old power hitter who could be too young to reliaze the moment and swing freely against a variety guile player who has a plan B, C and D if things go awry.
I’m tipping Ons Jabeur in 3 sets, her court craft works well on the grass and over the course of a long match it will frustrate the power hitter.