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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Thursday July , 2022

Elena Rybakina

Elena Rybakina powered past Simona Halep to reach her maiden Grand Slam final at Wimbledon.

Photo Source: Getty

For the first time ever, it will be a battle of first-time women's singles Grand Slam finalists at Wimbledon.

Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan raced past 2019 champion Simona Halep, 6-3, 6-3, in Thursday’s second women’s semi-final to book a final with Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur.

Tennis Express

It was a stunning Centre Court debut for the 23-year-old Moscow native, as she kept Halep on the back foot from start to finish with her trademark breathtaking power and only dropped serve once in the contest.

Rybakina set the tone early with a break for 2-0 and never looked back, as Halep struggled to match her power and efficacy on serve.

Truth be told, it was a difficult serving day for the Romanian – she tossed in nine double faults and never struck an ace in the contest as she was broken four times in her nine service games and won only 38 percent of her second-serve points, well below her tournament average of 56 percent.

“I was really focused today, and really happy with my performance,” Rybakina said. “I think that I played really solid today. I don’t know how to describe it, but it was really, really good – usually of course I have ups and downs, coming from the nerves, but I think today I was mentally prepared.”

Halep pushed back to draw level at 2-2 in the second but dropped four of the final five games to see her 12-match Wimbledon win streak go up in smoke.

The Romanian finished with 16 errors and 15 unforced; Rybakina totalled 22 winners and 16 unforced.


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