Wimbledon banned Russian players from the 2022 tournament because of the country’s invasion of Ukraine. A player born in Russia did win the tournament’s singles championship on Saturday.
Elena Rybakina, born in Moscow but representing Kazakhstan, downed Ons Jabeur, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 for her first Grand Slam title.
FROM 100-1 ODDS! WHAT A COMEBACK!
Elena Rybakina becomes the youngest Wimbledon women’s champion since 2011 🏆 pic.twitter.com/sKSu7xQ3yV
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 9, 2022
Kazakhstan offered to fund Rybakina’s tennis career in 2018.
The switch has been a topic of conversation during Wimbledon because the All England Club barred all players who represent Russia or Belarus from entering the tournament because of the war in Ukraine.
In a year where Wimbledon banned Russian and Belarusian players, Elena Rybakina of Moscow – who gets in the tournament because she sold her citizenship to Kazakhstan at 19 – wins the title. Almost no reaction after match point.
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) July 9, 2022
In the match, the 23rd-ranked 23-year-old fell behind in the first set but rallied behind a powerful serve and strong forehand to take down the second-ranked Jabeur.
Elena Rybakina rises to the occasion ✨
In its centenary year, Centre Court crowns a new Ladies’ Singles champion#Wimbledon | #CentreCourt100 pic.twitter.com/Wabfr0GTdS
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 9, 2022