Ons Jabeur of Tunisia continued her impressive run at Wimbledon as she reached the women’s singles quarter-final on Monday. En route, she beat Poland’s 2020 Roland Garros winner Iga Swiatek 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 in a women’s singles fourth-round match.
With this victory, the 26-year-old became the first Tunisian woman to reach the last eight at Wimbledon. She will also be the first Arab player since Egypt’s Ismael El Shafei made the men’s quarter-finals in 1974.
She will now face Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, who defeated Elena Rybakina 6-3, 4-6, 6-3. Sabalenka is seeded second in the tournament.
Sabalenka, too, will be playing in her first Grand Slam quarter-final. Both Jabeur and Sabalenka have a season-leading 33 wins in 2021.
After dropping the first set and letting away a 5-4 lead, the 26-year-old remained calm and bounced back in style to win the game in three games.
“It was a great match and I had to stay calm rather than get angry when I failed to close out the first set as getting angry would not have helped my cause,” Jabeur said after the match.
“Today I decided to change my game a bit as everyone knows I am doing drop shots and being aggressive was key today,” she added.
After gaining momentum in the second set, she looked set and there was no stopping her. Her breaking the opponent’s first game of the second set was the start of an annihilation.
At the start of the tournament, Sabalenka became the first winner at SW19 in two years when she notched up a victory against Romanian qualifier Monica Niculescu in straight sets. Sabalenka won 6-1, 6-4 under the roof of Court One.
In the men’s singles match, seventh seed Matteo Berrettini became only the fifth Italian player to enter the last eight with a dominating 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 win over Ilya Ivashka of Belarus.
The Queen’s Club champion is the first Italian man in the quarter-finals since 1998.