Tennis: Tunisia’s Jabeur Beats Bouzkova, Reaches Wimbledon Semi-Final
Tunisian third seed Ons Jabeur, the highest surviving seed in the women’s draw, recovered from losing her first set at this year’s Wimbledon to beat Czech Marie Bouzkova 3-6 6-1 6-1, reaching her maiden Grand Slam semi-final.
Coming into her second straight Wimbledon quarter-final, Jabeur had yet to lose a set in her four rounds. She used plenty of drop shots in the opening stages of the first set against Bouzkova, but the 23-year-old Czech read them well to blunt one of the Tunisian’s main weapons.
Jabeur, 27, failed to find a way past the Czech’s resilient defence as Bouzkova chased down most of her groundstrokes and was rewarded with a break of serve in the fifth game. A second break in the ninth got her the opening set.
The fist set loss seemed to wake up the Tunisian as she stepped up her aggression, started hitting her groundstrokes flatter and broke Bouzkova’s first service game of the second set.
A second and a third break followed and Jabeur soon levelled the match as her favourite drop shots once again found the mark on the lush green lawns.
Jabeur had won eight straight games to jump into a 4-0 lead before the Czech halted the juggernaut with a break to get on board in the third set. The Czech, who came into the Centre Court contest with six career wins over top-10 players, took a lengthy bathroom break but could not change the momentum.
However, it proved to be only a minor hiccup for Jabeur who picked up another break in the next game and then held serve to love to seal the contest on her first match point.
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“I knew she was going to come and really make me work to win a point,” Jabeur said. “She’s a talented player, and I’m really happy that I woke up during the second set and I played much better in the third set.”
“I’m glad I stepped in with my game. I was more aggressive in the second set, and especially tactically I was playing some angles that she didn’t like much.”
Since losing in the opening round at this year’s Roland Garros in a shock defeat, Jabeur has won 10 straight matches on grass, having arrived at the All England Club with a title in Berlin in the lead-up.
Currently playing at her highest career ranking of second, Jabeur will next meet her friend — 103rd-ranked Tatjana Maria, who earlier beat fellow German Jule Niemeier, for a place in Saturday’s final.