Tunisia’s third seed Jabeur tried to become the first Arab player to win a Grand Slam singles title but Rybakina, who was born in Russia but has represented Kazakhstan since 2018, beat her in a win 3 -6, 6-2, 6-2.
Rybakina changed her nationality years before the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Yet the fact that the tennis star was born, trained, educated and domiciled in Moscow meant that Wimbledon “went up with precisely the image he had been so desperate to avoid”, the sportswriter said in head of the Telegraph.
After Russian athletes were banned from Wimbledon following Vladimir Putin’s war, which the dictator launched in late February, photos of the Duchess of Cambridge with Rybakina ‘derided the Wimbledon ban in Russia’ and “are crowned with the darkest irony”, Oliver Brown wrote.
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He argued: “The moment was enough to cause howls of despair through the wood-panelled corridors that lead to the grass of center court.
“From the start, Wimbledon’s justification for the general exclusion of Russians has been to deny Putin any chance of a propaganda coup.
“That women’s final, however, brought a photo op that would have had everyone at the Russian Embassy in London laughing over their glasses of vodka.”
A candid Mr Brown added: “A champion made in Russia, accepting tennis’ greatest prize from Britain’s future queen?
“It was the result, for Wimbledon, of which the nightmares were made.”
He added: “Lena lives in Moscow, grew up here, became a player here.
“Congratulations to the royal family, they will have to reward the native of Russia.”
Rybakina, before meeting the Duchess, expressed her excitement for what she was sure would be an “incredible” moment.
She said: “It’s an honor and I’m going to be very excited for this moment whether I win or lose.
“I think it’s just something to remember and it’s going to be amazing.”
The Duchess, wearing an elegant yellow dress, told Rybakina she was playing “very well”.
Kate, alongside Prince William and Prince George, was spotted at the south London club on Sunday for the men’s singles final between Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios and is responsible for presenting the winner and runner-up trophies after the match.
Serbian Djokovic takes on Australian Kyrgios – the former a 20-time Grand Slam champion, the latter a debutant in a major singles final.
Eight-year-old George looked delighted to attend the championship, while his siblings Princess Charlotte, seven, and Prince Louis, four, were unaccompanied.