WTA Wimbledon Singles Final Tips: Jabeur primed to lift the trophy

Saturday afternoon at Wimbledon sees the women's singles final between Elena Rybakina and Ons Jabeur take place. Dan Weston returns to preview the championship match...

Jabeur proving she's an elite grass-courter

Pre-tournament second favourite Ons Jabeur has finally confirmed the form lines which she's shown in non-Slam tournaments - the one doubt surrounding the Tunisian prior to Wimbledon - by reaching the final, although Elise Mertens at 30th in the world is the highest ranked player which she's faced.

However, all Jabeur can do is beat the players put in front of her, and she's done that in emphatic style.

In the tournament so far, she's holding serve 85% of the time, and breaking 40% - elite numbers indeed - and these back up similar numbers accumulated over the last two years on grass. She really is a top-level grass-courter.

Competitive match anticipated by the market

Those numbers are why Jabeur is a pre-match favourite for the final, against Elena Rybakina.

The Kazakh impressed by getting past Simona Halep in the semi-final, in straight sets, and this was Rybakina's second underdog victory of the tournament, after defeating Bianca Andreescu in a tight two-setter in round two.

At the time of writing, the market pricing has Jabeur as the 1.71 favourite, with Rybakina at 2.38, so a competitive match is anticipated by consensus. I'm not so sure I agree on those market prices.

Return effectiveness likely to decide outcome

Firstly, Jabeur has much better grass court data over the last couple of years. She has a 2.5% edge on service points won, and almost 5% on return, and those are big differences which should indicate that she should be shorter-priced for this match. Jabeur has also won 8% more games on grass during this period - these are not small edges.

While Rybakina has managed to level out that service advantage this season on grass, Jabeur has won 8% more return points, and this should be where the match is lost - while both players have strong serves, Jabeur simply has a much more effective return game, consistently winning more return points and breaking opposition much more frequently.

In a match where both players are strong servers, this should be the difference.

My numbers have Jabeur priced up as a fair bit shorter than the current market line, so my final recommendation for the women's singles at SW19 is for Jabeur to be lifting the trophy on Saturday.

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