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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Monday July 8, 2024

 
Elena Rybakina

The 2022 champion is looking every bit the favorite after reaching the quarterfinals on Monday at Wimbledon.

Photo Source: Getty

A wide open women’s draw at Wimbledon?

Elena Rybakina hasn’t received the memo...

The 2022 champion – and absolute menace when she’s in her zone – was a 100 to 1 longshot to win the Championships prior to the start of her run to her maiden major title at SW19 in 2022.

She won it despite those odds, defeating Ons Jabeur for the title.

Tennis Express

This year, she’s the highest player remaining in the draw after the withdrawal of third-seeded Aryna Sabalenka and the high profile losses of top seed Iga Swiatek and No.2 seed Coco Gauff. According to oddsmakers, Rybakina now sits as the heavy favorite to win her second Wimbledon title in three years.

Makes sense, as she’s also the only player remaining in the draw to have played a final at Wimbledon.

The 25-year-old reached her third consecutive quarterfinal in Centre Court on Monday, advancing when Anna Kalinskaya retired down 6-3, 3-0. Rybakina won the final eight games before Kalinskaya, dealing with an injury since the first set, pulled the plug.

Rybakina improves to 18-2 lifetime at Wimbledon with her win – she will face either Elina Svitolina or Wang Xinyu in the last eight.


Commentating for ESPN, 18-time major champion Chris Evert tabbled the fourth-seeded Kazakhstani as her favorite as well.

“We were talking about Coco Gauff, we were talking about Iga Swiatek, we were talking about Sabalenka to win, those were the top three in everybody’s mind, but now [Rybakina] is front and center and she is everybody’s favorite – she is the best grass-court player left in the draw. She’s had more experience than anyone, she knows what it’s like to win this title, she knows what it feels like to walk out in the final match – that pressure is familiar to her.

“All eyes are on her now, we’ll see how she handles the pressure, and there’s still a lot of great players left in the draw.”

Rybakina finished up her duties in just 53 minutes, cracking 25 winners against 12 unforced errors against her hampered opponent. She won 18 of 21 first-serve points and struck seven aces. Since her 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 victory over tricky Laura Siegemund in the second round, Rybakina has dropped just four games in her last two matches.

In the third round against former Grand Slam champion Caroline Wozniacki, she won 25 of 31 first-serve points. She has lost just 25 first-serve points through four rounds (109-133).

The numbers of a future two-time champion?

Time will tell...

 

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