The three women helped cap off another 2022 Grand Slam tournament with flair.
Three majors down, one to go. Wimbledon officially ended last Sunday, with Elena Rybakina taking the ladies’ singles title and the Krejčíková/Siniaková duo dominating the doubles. Despite the competition’s turbulent lead-in period, fans and casuals alike were still able to enjoy quality tennis in England––which appears to be par for the course when it comes to this year’s Grand Slam schedule.
Remember the Name
Elena Rybakina made history last Saturday, becoming the first Kazakh player to win a Grand Slam tournament at Wimbledon. She rebounded from a dropped first set to defeat World No. 5 Ons Jabeur in resounding fashion. Though Rybakina’s ranking won’t change as a result of her victory, her profile in the tennis world––as well as the value of her resumé––will undoubtedly skyrocket.
Rybakina’s success in England will also help make an impression on anyone unfamiliar with her prior to the Championships. Of course, there’s the fact that she showed off her deadly serve in the final, which could attract fans interested in natural skill and creativity. But Rybakina’s strong mental game is perhaps the biggest thing that will keep her name in peoples’ mouths––and help her challenge for future major titles.
“I was 100% sure she could win [a Grand Slam],” said her coach Stefano Vukov to The Guardian. “I saw that she has this gift. Everybody feels the nerves but she’s a very clutch player and she showed me that from the first tournaments she ever played, when the scores were getting close, she was always the one coming out of these close contests.” Remember the name: Elena Rybakina, because so long as she maintains her quality play and killer mentality, fans will be hearing it at major tournaments for years to come.
A Golden Age
The victory train rolls on for Barbora Krejčíková and Kateřina Siniaková, who recently claimed their second-ever Wimbledon title. They took straight sets in the final against Zhang Shuai and Elise Mertens; notably, the showdown marked a rare battle between the tournament’s top two seeds.
Krejčíková and Siniaková’s Wimbledon triumph was a well-earned one, considering that they only dropped one set in the entire tournament. Such a stat helps to properly illustrate their dominance in the tennis world. “It’s amazing. I think that it was clear from the moment we went on to the court that we weren’t ready to lose,” Krejčíková said. “We wanted to show our opponents that the title is ours and that we won’t let it slip through our fingers.” All in all, the two Czech greats are proving that any major doubles title out there is almost certainly theirs for the taking. If that isn’t proof of a golden age, what is?
This year’s edition of Wimbledon was surrounded by a flurry of valid (if not slightly pessimistic) questions. How could a major be considered “prestigious” if it won’t even make a dent in the WTA’s standings? How would the lack of Russian and Belarusian players at the tournament affect fan engagement? Most importantly: how good would the tennis be?
That last and most important query is easily answered: pretty darn stellar. The Championships provided a healthy amount of upsets and dramatic matches, and what’s more, it further raised the profiles of stars like Rybakina and Harmony Tan, even without ranking points. This isn’t even mentioning the fact that both ladies’ singles finalists made history for their respective countries. Overall, Wimbledon was a successful end to the summer grass stretch––and a thrilling episode of this year’s Grand Slam action. Let’s hope the final major of the tour provides more of the same.