Elena Rybakina matches impressive Steffi Graf feat with latest Wimbledon win

Elena Rybakina after her Wimbledon win
Elena Rybakina has matched Steffi Graf with an impressive Wimbledon record.

Elena Rybakina has joined a highly elusive Wimbledon club thanks to her latest victory at Wimbledon.

World No 4 and fourth seed Rybakina, champion at the tournament in 2022, progressed to her third straight quarter-final at the All England Club after opponent Anna Kalinskaya retired with injury.

The Kazakh was down a break early on but rallied to take the opening set as 17th seed Kalinskaya began to struggle with a wrist injury.

And the contest was brought towards an unfortunate ending when Kalinskaya retired at 6-3, 3-0 down on Centre Court, firing Rybakina back into the last eight.

It is the second year in a row that Rybakina has won by retirement in round four, after Beatriz Haddad Maia retired in their clash a year ago.

Rybakina only made her debut at Wimbledon in 2021 but has never failed to reach the second week in what has been the most successful Grand Slam for her.

In fact, she has now only lost two of her 20 matches at SW19.

Future world No 1 and two-time Wimbledon semi-finalist Aryna Sabalenka beat her in round four on her debut three years ago, while she fell to Ons Jabeur in their quarter-final meeting in 2023.

Her run to the title in 2022 – where she beat Jabeur in the final – spearheads an impressive 18 wins she has picked up at the tournament, leading to her having a win rate of 90% at Wimbledon.

In the Open Era, she is just one of three women to hold such an impressive record.

Leading the way is Ann Jones, whose career spanned the end of the amateur era and the start of the professional game.

The British star reached the semi-final of the first Open Era Wimbledon in 1968, losing to Billie Jean King in three sets.

But she avenged that loss the following, beating King in the 1969 final to lift her first SW19 title, and her third and final Grand Slam title.

That was the final major appearance of her career, leaving her with an impressive 12-1 record at Wimbledon in the Open Era – a win rate of 92.3 percent.

The only other player to hold a better record than Rybakina currently is all-time great Steffi Graf, who won seven of her 22 major titles at the tournament.

Graf won a staggering 74 of her 81 matches at Wimbledon, holding a win percentage of 91.4% – winning the title in half of her appearances.

Rybakina has some way to go to match the accomplishments of Jones or Graf, but she may improve her winning record even further.

The Kazakh is now the heavy favourite for the title, being the highest-ranked player in the draw thanks to the withdrawal of Aryna Sabalenka, and losses for Iga Swiatek and Coco Gauff.

But the only former champion left is not thinking too much about the expectations on her.
“I don’t feel pressure. I think every opponent is difficult,” she said.

“I know I need to always bring my best. That’s what I’m trying to do every match. I’m just really enjoying every time I step on the court. I’m happy I’m going far in the draw.

“Hopefully I can go until the end.”

Read More

The 11 countries to produce Wimbledon women’s singles champions in Open Era

Wimbledon Quiz: Can you answer these 13 questions from top TV show?

The last 7 Wimbledon women’s singles winners: ft. Serena Williams and Ashleigh Barty