Ons Jabeur makes Grand Slam history by reaching Wimbledon semi-finals


The world No. 3 rallied from a set down, overcoming a nervous start, to beat Marie Bouzková 3-6 6-1 6-1 on center court.

But after reaching the final four, she said it took a long time to come for her personally.

“I had hoped I could get to this stage for a long time already. I struggled several times in the quarter-finals,” Jabeur told the media afterwards.

“I was talking to (former world number 22) Hicham Arazi for a bit, and he said to me, ‘Arabs always lose in the quarter-finals and we’re fed up. Please stop this.’ I was like, ‘I’ll give it a try, my friend’… We were just texting, and he was really happy. He was like, ‘Thank you for finally making the semi. Now you can really go for the title.'”

For Jabeur, a quarter-finalist at Wimbledon last year and the Australian Open in 2020, it was all about finding his feet on the historic court.

After a sloppy first set, in which Bouzková’s defense and speed helped Jabeur make untimely mistakes, the Tunisian finally found her feet.

The 27-year-old has hit more winners than errors in the final two sets, winning eight consecutive games 2-1 in the second set.

And she won eight of the last nine points in the last set to clinch a big and game-changing victory.

Jabeur will face first-time semi-finalist Tatjana Maria for a place in the final.

Maria is enjoying her own remarkable run to reach the semi-finals, just 15 months after the birth of her second daughter.

The German and Jabeur are good friends away from tennis, with Jabeur admitting the world No.103 is her ‘barbecue buddy’.

“It’s so nice to see her with her babies on tour. The fact that she really came back and did everything and really deserves to be here,” Jabeur said. “She had a very tough draw, winning against (Jelena) Ostapenko, winning against (Maria) Sakkari. Really, she played very well. I know she could play very well on grass.

“Obviously it’s hard to play it and I was joking with (Maria’s first daughter) Charlotte, I was like, ‘Are you going to support me or support your mum?’ I try to get all the kids on my side…I’m really happy for her that she’s getting what she deserves.I know she’s struggled a lot.It’s not easy to come back after having had two babies. It’s going to be a great game between us, a lot of respect for sure.”

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