(September 6, 2022) FLUSHING MEADOWS, New York – Ons Jabeur of Tunisia became the first African woman to reach the semifinals of the US Open on Tuesday. Under the roof of Athur Ashe Stadium, the No, 5 seed and Wimbledon finalist beat unseeded Ajla Tomljanovic, who ended Serena Williams’ career on Friday, 6-4, 7-6(4).
The match saw nine breaks of serve and 11 double-faults, but tons of long hard-hitting rallies. The 28-year-old said that means a lot to her to inspire other women in Africa and the Arab world due to her tennis.
Jabeur apologized for throwing her racquet during the second set, saying during her on-court interview: “I wanted to keep calm but the racquet kept slipping from my hands.”
Jabeur was 5 for 6 on break points, with 29 winners and 30 unforced errors. She was 18 for 24 on net points.
‘I thought Ons played great,” said the Australian. “I was pretty disappointed with my serving today. I think that’s the biggest thing that let me down.
“Not just the double faults but just the percentage wasn’t great. Then my first ball after, yeah, I was always under pressure with the scoreline. Yeah, never really found my rhythm on the serve.”
“I was ready for a lot of those things that she likes to do, like the slices and dropshots, but she actually didn’t do that a lot today.
“So I had to adjust my game a little bit after that first set and be more aggressive and be the one that’s actually running less, because she was running me a lot in the beginning. So I had to adjust a little bit. Wasn’t working what I kind of came in with.
“But overall, I mean, making quarters is always a good week. Some good memories I made, but at the same time, I can learn a lot from this match. Yeah, the experience can only help me.”
Tomljanovic is projected to move up to No, 34 in the world.
“It’s never easy to play Ajla,” said Jabeur to media. “I knew I was coming to play a physical match.
“It was a good first set, and was hoping to win more easy on the second set, but it’s me, you know, I just like the suspense. I like to take it to the tiebreak (smiling). But I’m glad that I got the win and hopefully will continue and play even better for the next matches.”
Jabeur had to rally from 5-3 down in the second to win.
“The second set was very tough, especially with not serving very well,” noted Jabeur. “That didn’t help me to back up few breaks that I got.
“When she broke me at 4-3, I was, like, I should really stay focused, and if I get angry, it’s not going to do me very well. It was a successful game. I was thinking, you know, I think I just won one game at that time with my serve, and I was, like, you have to really just fight for it.”
“The most frustrating thing is I had like game points, and I didn’t like seize the moment. For me, I was, like, just keep going. 5-All. I was trying to make it to the tiebreak.
Jabeur will play the Caroline Garcia, a rivalry that dates back to juniors. Her ranking could go as high as No. 2 by the end of the tournament.
“We go way back, from juniors, I know. Honestly, I’m happy for her that she’s back where she belongs. Also, she’s working with Bertrand, that he was my coach before Issam. I’m just happy for them in general.
“I know she plays really aggressive, and a tough game. So whoever is going to be able to impose her game is going to be in better form. So I will try to play my game. I will try to be me.
“Hopefully it’s going to be a great match for both of us.”
More to follow…