Ons Jabeur became the first player from Tunisia to reach the quarter-final of Wimbledon on Monday with a thumping win over her opponent Iga Swiatek in the women’s singles fourth-round match. She beat the 2020 Roland Garros winner 5-7, 6-1, 6-1.
She now faces second seed Aryna Sabalenka in the quarter-final of a major Grand Slam. With both the players looking to outperform each other, this will only be the second time Jabeur will be playing on the Centre Court, an intimidating affair.
The last time she played on the Centre Court was in Wimbledon third-round against Spaniard Garbine Muguruza. She won the tie 5-7, 6-3, 6-2.
Ahead of the quarter-final clash, Wimbledon put up an appreciation post for the Tunisian player. “The last Ons Jabeur was on Centre Court, we were treated to a special performance,” the tournament captioned their video.
26-year-old Jabeur has already denied three straight Grand Slam champions – Venus Williams, Garbine Muguruza and Iga Swiatek – in succession to reach this point.
Having said that she could become the first Arab in the Open era to advance to a Grand Slam semi-final.
“I’ve worked hard to earn my place here. I just want to give the example for many generations coming from North Africa, from my country, from the African continent, that it’s not impossible, that we can do it,” Jabeur after her last 16 match.
“I’m trying to carry this message [for] a very long time. Hopefully, it is working,” she further added.
Wimbledon breaking new ground
The Wimbledon women’s final eight will feature six players who are playing in the quarters for the first time. It is a record in the open era.
For Czech player Karolina Muchova, she is playing in her second Wimbledon quarters that too in only her second main draw appearance at the Championships.
The match between Ashleigh Barty and Ajla Tomljancovic will be the first time in 41 years that two Australian women have met in a major Slam quarter.
On Court 1 of Wimbledon, Angelique Kerber will be facing Karolina Muchova for a place in the semis. What makes this match important is that Kerber, 2018 Wimbledon winner, is the only former champion left in the women’s singles at the Championships.