Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic became one of the most unlikely Wimbledon champions Saturday, beating Ons Jabeur, a trailblazing Tunisian, in straight sets.

Vondrousova, 24, became the latest in a long line of Czech-born women to lift the most important trophy in the sport, going back to Martina Navratilova’s domination of Wimbledon in the 1980s, after Navratilova had defected to the United States.

Like Navratilova, Vondrousova is a left-handed player with a nasty slice serve that she used throughout the afternoon in the tensest moments when Jabeur tried to take control of the match or mount yet another comeback.

For Jabeur, the loss in a second straight Wimbledon final, against an opponent who had accomplished far less than other women she beat on the way to the precipice of tennis history, was nothing less than heartbreaking. Jabeur has now lost three of the last five Grand Slam finals, falling just short of becoming the first woman of Arab descent and from Africa to win the most important championships in tennis.

Like most tennis players, Jabeur has long dreamed of winning Wimbledon and last year used a picture of the women’s trophy as the lock screen on her phone.

Jabeur started fast, breaking a nervous Vondrousova’s serve repeatedly in the first set. She was in tight form the beginning, but holding a 4-2 lead in the first set she unraveled, sending forehands into the net, floating backhands beyond the baseline.

Before she knew it, Jabeur was down a set and had lost her serve to start the second. For her part, Vondrousova was doing all she needed to, keeping the ball in play, whipping her curling, spinning shots that were so different from the power which Jabeur had faced in her recent matches.

While Jabeur steadied herself, and even surged to another lead in the second set, at 3-1, it all went away once more, as Jabeur struggled to find the court and sent too many balls into the middle of the net.

She lost five of the last six games, and another woman from Czech Republic was the Wimbledon champion.



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