On a windy afternoon in southwest London, women’s tennis minted a first-time Wimbledon Champion: the unseeded Markéta Vondroušová of the Czech Republic, who took today’s finals match against sixth-seeded Ons Jabeur of Tunisia 6-4, 6-4.
It was a fierce pairing: the heavily tattooed Vondroušová, 24, was the first unseeded player to reach a Wimbledon final since Billie Jean King—who could be spotted beside the Princess of Wales in the royal box today—in 1963, five years before the start of the Open Era. (For what it’s worth, King ended that match, against Margaret Court, the runner-up.) At the same time, Czech lefties like Vondroušová had found notable success at Wimbledon over the decades, between Martina Navratilova’s nine wins there and Petra Kvitová’s two.
Despite going into this tournament with just four career wins on grass—and one prior appearance at a major final, at the 2019 French Open, when she was still a teenager—Vondroušová played a virtually nerveless match against Jabeur, 28, who was the odds-on favorite today, having beaten four former Grand Slam champions on her way to the final. With her combination of power and finesse—an arsenal of drop shots, lobs, and other specialist shots—Jabeur has made a fearsome opponent over the fortnight, as well as at her two previous major finals (both last year, at Wimbledon and the US Open). Still, in their six previous meetings, Jabeur and Vondroušová had each claimed three wins—and neither had won a Grand Slam.
With Centre Court’s roof closed against the gusty conditions outside, the women’s final was attended by a bevy of celebrities, including Navratilova, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Andrew Garfield, Issa Rae, Nick Jonas, and Priyanka Chopra Jonas. All watched with rapt attention as Vondroušová and Jabeur repeatedly broke each other’s service games and engaged in several breathtaking rallies before Jabeur’s nerves seemed to get the better of her, and the unforced errors piled up.