Moscow-born star moves into Wimbledon semifinals


Elena Rybakina represented Russia until switching to Kazakhstan in 2018

Elena Rybakina sealed a place in a maiden Grand Slam semifinal as she marched on at Wimbledon with victory over Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic in three sets on Wednesday.

Rybakina, 23, dropped a set for the first time at this year’s tournament but battled back brilliantly to win the quarterfinal clash 4-6 6-2 6-3 on Court One.  

In a year when Russian and Belarusian players have been banned from the All England Club, Rybakina’s presence in the final four of the ladies’ singles means a Russian-born player is still in with a shot at winning a Wimbledon title.

Rybakina was born in Moscow and represented Russia until 2018, before she switched allegiances to Kazakhstan after being offered citizenship and the prospect of more funding to help her career.

Seeded 17th at Wimbledon, Rybakina is now into the semifinals of a Grand Slam singles event for the first time, going one better that her run to the quarterfinals of the French Open in 2021.

Awaiting Rybakina next at SW19 will be Romanian star Simona Halep, who overcame America’s Anna Anisimova – who has Russian heritage through her parents – in straight sets in their quarterfinal clash.

Halep, 30, was Wimbledon champion in 2019 and will pose a stern test for Rybakina’s ambitions to win a first Grand Slam crown.

The pair are set to meet on Centre Court on Thursday, while Tunisian third seed Ons Jabeur takes on German veteran Tatjana Maria on the same day in the other women’s semifinal.

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