7 players who exceeded expectations at Wimbledon 2022 with Elena Rybakina and Nick Kyrgios


Wimbledon 2022 is over with all the winners decided. Novak Djokovic won his 21st Grand Slam title by defeating Nick Kyrgios in the final on Sunday. Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina made history by becoming the first player from her country to win a major singles title. She defeated third seed and fan favorite Ons Jabeur in the final despite a set down.

This year’s championships had no players from Russia and Belarus competing, nor any ranking points. However, there have been some exciting matches and some wonderful tennis produced over the past two weeks.

At every Grand Slam there are players who punch above their weight and exceed all expectations. Let’s take a look at seven players who did just that at Wimbledon 2022:

#1 Elena Rybakina

The 23-year-old Kazakh entered Wimbledon as the 17th seed and despite having a good record on grass, very few expected her to go far at the All England Club. Rybakina booked her place in the last 16 with narrow straight-set wins over Coco Vandeweghe, Bianca Andreescu and Zheng Qinwen.

The Kazakh beat Petra Martic 7-5, 6-3 to seal her place in the quarter-finals. She then fought back after one set to beat Ajla Tomljanovic and book her place in the semi-finals.

Rybakina took on tournament favorite Simona Halep and upset the Romanian 6-3, 6-3 to make her first Grand Slam final.

The 23-year-old faced Ons Jabeur in the league game. The Tunisian won the first set 6-3 but Rybakina came back in the match and won the next two sets 6-2, 6-2 to claim her first Grand Slam singles title.

#2 Nick Kyrgios

Nick Kyrgios is a brilliant grass player, but very few would have expected him to make the Wimbledon final.

The Aussie had a rocky start to the competition as he survived a scare from home wildcard Paul Jubb in the opening round. He then beat Filip Krajinovic in straight sets to book a third round clash against fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Kyrgios fought back after losing the opening set to beat the Greek in a bad tempered affair and seal his place in the fourth round. He then defeated the young American Brandon Nakashima in five sets.

In the quarter-finals, Kyrgios defeated Cristian Garin in straight sets to reach his first Grand Slam semi-final. He was expected to face Rafael Nadal but the Spaniard withdrew from the match with an abdominal injury, giving the Aussie passage to his first-ever Grand Slam final.

Kyrgios faced defending champion Novak Djokovic in the final and won the first set 6-4. However, the Serb showed his quality and won the next three sets to win his seventh Wimbledon crown.

Nonetheless, Kyrgios mesmerized onlookers with his unique brand of tennis and will undoubtedly be someone to watch at Wimbledon next year.

#3 Tajana Maria

The 34-year-old mother-of-two had an inspiring run at the grass-court Major. Maria reached the third round after three-set wins over Astra Sharma and Sorana Cirstea. She then stunned fifth seed Maria Sakkari to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time.

The German knocked out 12th seed Jelena Ostapenko despite a set and a breakdown to book her place in the quarter-finals.

She beat compatriot Jule Niemeier to reach her first Grand Slam semi-final, fighting back again after losing the opening set. Maria took on her good friend Ons Jabeur and put in a spirited performance before losing 2-6, 6-3, 6-1.

#4 Jannik Sinner

Jannik Sinner was ranked 10th at Wimbledon but entered the tournament with zero career grass court wins. The Italian secured his first victory on the surface beating Stan Wawrinka 7-5, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the first round. He followed that up with another victory in four sets, this time against Mikael Ymer.

Sinner faced 20th seed John Isner in the third round and won 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-3 to set up a tantalizing fourth-round clash against fifth seed Carlos Alcaraz. The Italian put in a brilliant performance to win 6-1, 6-4, 6-7(8), 6-3 to reach his second major quarter-final of the year.

Sinner faced Novak Djokovic in the last eight and took a two-set lead. However, the Serb’s elite mentality saw him emerge victorious and seal their place in the semi-finals.

#5 Marie Bouzkova

Czech Marie Bouzkova was one of many Wimbledon surprises as she reached the quarter-finals.

The 23-year-old faced seventh seed Danielle Collins in the first round and found herself on the floor. However, she bounced back to win the match 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 and script an early upset.

Bouzkova then beat two other Americans in Ann Li and Alison Riske to book her place in the last 16. She then beat Caroline Garcia 7-5, 6-2 to seal her place in the last eight.

The Czech was eventually beaten by Ons Jabeur in the quarter-finals despite a set-up. Nonetheless, the Czech is in the midst of a great season and will be looking to improve her ranking further during the North American hardcourt season.

#6David Goffin

David Goffin has enjoyed a resurgence this season and that continued with an impressive run at Wimbledon. The Belgian reached the third round after straight-set wins over Radu Albot and 31st seed Sebastian Baez.

He fought back after a set to defeat Ugo Humbert and set up a fourth-round clash against 23rd seed Frances Tiafoe. Goffin won a thrilling encounter 7-6(3), 5-7, 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 to book his place in the quarter-finals.

The 31-year-old faced ninth seed Cameron Norrie in the last eight and won two of the first three sets. However, Norrie, rallied by a partisan home crowd, won the next two sets to knock out the Belgian.

Goffin will be determined to continue his great season and reach the heights of 2017 which saw him rank 7th in the world.

#7 Tan Harmony

Harmony Tan is the only player on this list who did not reach the quarter-finals at Wimbledon this year. Nevertheless, she had a race to remember.

Tan, who was ranked 115th in the world, was drawn against Serena Williams in the first round. The 23-time Slam champion was playing her first singles match since Wimbledon last year, but it was the French player who won the first set 7-5.

Williams stormed back to win the second set 6-1, but Tan held her nerve to win the decider via a tie-break to seal her place in the second round. she then ousted 32nd seed Sara Sorribes Tormo to reach the third round, where she edged out Britain’s Katie Boulter 6-1, 6-1.

Tan’s trip to Wimbledon came to an end in the fourth round as she lost 6-2, 6-3 to Amanda Anisimovsa. However, the French player will undoubtedly take a lot of positives from her run and will cherish her time at the 2022 Wimbledon Championships.

Edited by Nihal Taraporvala

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