History was on the line at Centre Court at Wimbledon and it was Kazakhstan's Elena Rybakina who came out on top against Tunisia's Ons Jabeur, winning her first Grand Slam title. Jabeur was the first Arab woman and first African-born player to reach a Grand Slam final, while Rybakina -- who was born in Russia -- is the first player representing Kazakhstan to win a Grand Slam after switching to represent that country in 2018.
Rybakina is also the first woman to win Wimbledon after losing the first set (3-6, 6-2, 6-2) since Amelie Mauresmo came back from a set down to beat Justine Henin in the 2006 Ladies' final. Also, ranked No. 23 in the world, Rybakina is the lowest ranked woman to win Wimbledon since Venus Williams won at the All England Club for the fourth time as the No. 31 player in the world.
The story of the match was the enormous momentum swing after the first set. Jabeur controlled the first set with poise and her drop shots, forcing Rybakina to come to the net, where she looked uncomfortable early. Jabeur's movement, coupled with her precision close to the net led her to a 6-3 first set win. Rybakina also had to shake of some early nerves, getting less than 50 percent of the points on her first serves in in the first set.
The massive turnaround hinged on two things -- Rybakina won 70 percent of her first serve points for the remainder of the match, and she wound up winning 17 of 36 points at the net. While not a great percentage, she'd looked out of answers for Jabeur coming to the net to volley and hit drop shots.
"I was super nervous before the match, during the match, and I'm honestly happy that its finished because ... I've never felt something like this," Rybakina said after being presented with the Venus Rosewater Dish on Centre Court. The 23-year-old is the sixth different player to win the Ladies' singles at Wimbledon in the last six tournaments and the youngest winner since Petra Kvitova won in 2011 when she was 21.
Those nerves were all gone after Rybakina was broken at love to end the first set. She was the sharper player as her first serve percentage climbed. All four of her aces came after the first set.
Jabeur's history-making run came to a close as Rybakina steadied -- the champions finished with 29 winners in the match and converted 4 of 6 break chances -- but Jabeur was very much aware of what her presence in the final meant after the match.
"I love this tournament so much and I feel really sad, but it's tennis ... there is only one winner. I'm really happy that I'm trying to inspire many generations from my country. ... I hope they're listening," Jabeur said on the court after the match.
Next up on the Grand Slam circuit it the final major of the year, the US Open in New York, Aug. 29 to Sept. 11.