Wimbledon 2023 women’s final between Marketa Vondrousova and Ons Jabeur

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Wimbledon 2023 women’s final between Marketa Vondrousova and Ons Jabeur

The Wimbledon women’s singles final will be played between Marketa Vondrousova and Ons Jabeur on Saturday. In the first semifinal, the 24-year-old Czech, world number 42, beat Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina, number 76 but back from maternity leave, with a double 6-3 win in one hour and 15 minutes of play; in the second, the 28-year-old Tunisian, number 6, won her third comeback match of this tournament by beating Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, number 2, with a score of 6-7 6-4 6-3 after a two-hour and 19-minute battle.

The first set of the first semifinal was fairly balanced until 2-2, when it was Vondrousova who made the first break, she immediately returned serve but from that moment she strung together a series of seven consecutive games going ahead 6-3 4-0 and 40-0 with service at her disposal.

Here, however, the match becomes paradoxical: the Czech is paralyzed by the fear of winning, so much so that the previous game was given to her by the Ukrainian, but at that point she loses two serves in a row because Svitolina makes no more mistakes. However, the new mother starts to give again, she gifts 5-3 to her opponent who is still trembling but on 30-30 she slips an ace and a winning first serve that make her deservedly win her second Slam final after the one at Roland Garros 2019, sharply lost to Ashleigh Barty.

In the second semifinal the first set is remarkably balanced, no breaks, one break point saved by Jabeur in the second game, three by Sabalenka, one in the third and two in the fifth game. In the tie-break the North African goes 4-2 and serve but the Belarusian turns everything around, wins 7-5 and goes ahead by a break in the fifth game of the second set.

Here, however, she has one of her proverbial breaks: she has two 5-3 break points and instead suffers five consecutive games and so the match is lengthened to a third set that is in fact almost one-sided, although Jabeur has to wait until the sixth game to make the decisive break. At 5-2 she already has two match points, Aryna cancels them while at 5-3 Ons closes the file with an ace after being 40-0 up and having two more mach points cancelled.

As mentioned, for Vondrousova it will be her second Slam final while for Jabeur, who won her third semifinal out of three, it will be her third after those lost last year to Elena Rybakina just at Wimbledon and to Iga Swiatek at the US Open. Jabeur will start clearly favored but the record speaks of three wins apiece and while the Tunisian prevailed in the only meeting on grass, at Eastbourne in 2021, the Czech won the two confrontations played this year, at the Australian Open and Indian Wells.

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