Kate holds Court
Duchess dazzles as Elena is new champ
BY PATRICK HILL at Wimbledon
THE Duchess of Cambridge dazzled tennis fans yesterday as she crowned Elena Rybakina Wimbledon Ladies’ Champion.
Kate, who was wearing a £1,095 yellow Roksanda dress, beamed as she handed the trophy to the 23-year-old Moscow-born winner.
But Rybakina’s win over Tunisian Ons Jabeur sparked controversy after the ban on Russians playing.
The tennis star switched her allegiance to Kazakhstan four years ago but still has a home in the Russian capital.
Kate, patron of the All England Club, later consoled favourite Jabeur by gently rubbing her arm.
She had watched the three-set final from the
royal box, where Tom
Cruise, 60, and Killing Eve star Jodie Comer, 29, were among the guests. Other A-listers at Centre Court included Dame Maggie Smith, 87, and Sir Cliff Richard, 81.
Rybakina said of Kate: “She said I played really well. It was amazing to get the trophy from her.” Asked if she feared Vladimir Putin would
politicise her win, she said: “I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Kate had earlier talked to two semi-finalists in the first 14-andunder junior championships, including Brit Isabelle Britton, 14.
Isabelle said: “She was saying it was good that we were getting this far. It’s a really good experience.”
Kate also met Gabia Sakaviciute, 13, who was picked to do the coin toss in the final for caring for family and neighbours in the pandemic.
Outside, a group of women in blood-red cycling shorts held a protest against the all-white dress code due to concerns over periods.
In today’s men’s final, Nick Kyrgios, who is facing a domestic abuse allegation in Australia, faces top seed Novak Djokovic, who is chasing a fourth successive title.