• Monday, May 20, 2024

Sports

Vondrousova advances to women’s final, ends Svitolina’s title hopes

Vondrousova, a left-hander, will be competing in her second Grand Slam final after finishing as the runner-up at the 2019 French Open

Czech Republic’s Marketa Vondrousova celebrates winning her semi final match against Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina (Photo: REUTERS/Dylan Martinez)

By: Shailesh Solanki

Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic made history on Thursday by becoming the first unseeded player in 60 years to reach the Wimbledon women’s final. She dashed the title dreams of Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina with a commanding 6-3, 6-3 victory.

Vondrousova, currently ranked 42nd in the world, will now face either second-ranked Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus or last year’s runner-up Ons Jabeur for the coveted title on Saturday.

Should Australian Open champion Sabalenka make it to the final, she would have the opportunity to replace Iga Swiatek as the new world number one. However, her potential victory might create some awkward optics, as she would receive the trophy from Princess Catherine, the wife of the heir to the British throne.

This scenario arises due to the ban imposed on all Belarusian and Russian players, including Sabalenka, from Wimbledon last year following the invasion of Ukraine, given Belarus’ alliance with Moscow.

Vondrousova, a left-hander, will be competing in her second Grand Slam final after finishing as the runner-up at the 2019 French Open. Her attacking approach paid off against Svitolina, as she broke serve six times and unleashed 22 winners compared to Svitolina’s nine.

Overjoyed by her achievement, the 24-year-old Czech player expressed her disbelief and happiness at reaching the final, recognizing Svitolina as a fighter and a remarkable individual. Vondrousova’s journey to the final comes after a challenging period, which included a second wrist surgery that kept her out of competition for most of 2022.

World number 76 Svitolina, who recently returned to the sport from maternity leave in April, faced a tough challenge against Vondrousova. Dropping serve three times in the opening set, Svitolina managed to level the score at 3-3 before Vondrousova broke again to take the lead. The Ukrainian’s struggles continued in the second set, falling behind 4-0.

Although Vondrousova experienced some mid-set jitters and handed back breaks to Svitolina, the Czech player regained her composure and sealed her place in the final when Svitolina pushed a forehand long.

The upcoming Wimbledon women’s final will witness an enthralling clash between Vondrousova and either Sabalenka or Jabeur.

As Vondrousova aims to secure her first Grand Slam title, her opponent will strive to add another major triumph to her already impressive record. Tennis enthusiasts await the climax of this remarkable tournament, where unexpected journeys and extraordinary talent have taken center stage.

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