Jabeur's Unforced Errors Lead to Her Downfall in Wimbledon Final
She was solely responsible for her own downfall, evident from the 31 unforced errors she committed.
Through tearful eyes, the 28-year-old Jabeur expressed, "This is incredibly challenging. I won't look good in those photos." The passionate crowd gave her a long ovation, and she added, "This is the most agonizing defeat of my career. Today will be tough, but I won't give up. I'll return stronger. It has been a difficult journey, but I promise to come back and win this tournament one day."
Whether she can fulfill that promise remains to be seen. However, on Saturday, she lamented the missed opportunities in the initial stages of the match. The contest, played with the roof closed to block the gusty winds, felt like an indoor event.
Jabeur knows she could have dominated the first set with a 6-0 lead, as she had game points in all six opening games. Unfortunately, the same variety, imagination, and mental strength that carried her past four Grand Slam champions in the preceding rounds deserted her on Saturday.
She let slip a 2-0 lead in the opening set, with Vondrousova breaking back and saving four break points in the fourth game. At 4-2, it still seemed like victory was within Jabeur's grasp, as she broke her 24-year-old opponent to love.
However, inexplicably, Jabeur's game unraveled, and she lost 16 of the next 18 points. A sloppy service return from her side granted Vondrousova the set.
While the Czech player was on a winning streak, claiming five consecutive games, the crowd rallied to inspire Jabeur. Unfortunately, she seemed trapped in her own personal nightmare, with a global audience witnessing her struggle.
The Tunisian, who had also lost the 2022 U.S. Open final to Iga Swiatek, briefly found solace by taking a 3-1 lead in the second set. However, this relief turned out to be short-lived.
The racket that had once worked wonders, bewildering six other opponents throughout the championships, had lost its magical touch. Jabeur succumbed to a barrage of unforced errors, conceding five of the next six games. Meanwhile, Vondrousova savored the glory of joining the ranks of Czech-born Wimbledon champions, alongside Navratilova, Jana Novotna, and Petra Kvitova.