Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur becomes first African woman to reach a Grand Slam quarters
London, Jan 26, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Unseeded Tunisian Ons Jabeur sent Chinese hope Wang Qiang crashing out of the Australian Open on Sunday to become the first African woman to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final.
Wang stunned Serena Williams in the third round but the 27th seed ran out of steam against the powerful Jabeur, who fought back from a break down in the first set to win 7-6 (7/4), 6-1.
Jabeur, the highest-ranked Tunisian in history — she reached a career-high 51 last year — is the first Tunisian woman to win a main-draw match at the Australian Open.
“I’m really shaking right now, it’s unbelievable, I can’t describe how I feel,” said the 25-year-old, who will play America’s Sofia Kenin in the last eight. “Last time Kenin won against me so maybe it’ll be my revenge,” added Jabeur, who lost to Kenin last year in Hobart and retired against her in Mallorca.
On the road to her first grand slam quarters, she ended the glittering career of former World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki on Friday with a third round defeat to Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur.
World No.78 Jabeur, who had previously reached the third round at the French and US Opens in her career, advances to the round of 16 at a Grand Slam for the first time in her career, thanks to a 7-5, 3-6, 7-5 victory that lasted just over two hours inside Melbourne Arena.
“I’m really happy, especially here at this Grand Slam — usually, [here] I’d lose first round — but today I’m really happy that I made it through to the fourth round,” Jabeur said on-court after the match.
“I don’t have much experience, so I was a little bit nervous, especially in the last set. She plays unbelievable and she runs really good.”
Turning to Wozniacki, Jabeur, who revealed she was ‘a little bit stressed’ about the prospect of sending the Dane into retirement, added: “I’m really happy that I played you. You are such an inspiration for me and many players, and I’m lucky enough to have been on tour with you.”
Ons Jabeur was born 28 August 1994 in Ksar Hellal. She had won 11 titles in ITF circuit, but none yet in WTA.
Her best performance in Grand Slams, prior to now, had been the third round in US Open in 2019 and French Open in 2017. She reached the second round in Wimbledon in 2018.