Ons Jabeur reaches first Grand Slam final at Wimbledon with win over Tatjana Maria

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Tunisia’s Jabeur had already made history at Wimbledon this year as the first Arab or North African woman to make the semifinals of a grand slam, and she went one step further with a fight win over Maria.

The third seed, who has dropped just two sets in the tournament, came through the first set after earning a double break of serve, but Maria used her slice wisely and responded with a break to take the lead. second set.

With the level of the match, Jabeur took over with a break early in the third set, then followed it up with another at 3-0 as Maria sent a single long forehand volley.

From there, the match was almost sewn and Jabeur took the victory on his second of three match points after Maria ran back into the net.

“I’m a proud Tunisian woman to be here today,” said Jabeur, who will face Elena Rybakina in the final on Saturday, in her on-pitch interview, “and I know that in Tunisia they are going crazy right now. .

“I just try to really inspire as much as I can. I want to see more and more players, not just Tunisians, but Arabs and Africans on tour. I love the game and I want to share this experience with them.”

Jabeur and Maria are close friends and shared a long net hug at the end of the game. As the crowd applauded the two players, Jabeur brought Maria back onto the pitch and waved the crowd to cheer on her opponent.

Jabeur (right) and Maria receive the applause after their Wimbledon semi-final.
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The German enjoyed the best Grand Slam tournament of her career at Wimbledon just 15 months after giving birth to her second child.

She is only the sixth woman aged 34 or over to play in a Grand Slam semi-final, after Venus and Serena Williams, Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert and Billie Jean King.

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“She has to barbecue me now to make up for all the running I’ve done,” Jabeur joked after the game.

“I really wanted to share the moment with her at the end because she’s such an inspiration to so many players, including me. Coming back after having two babies – I can’t believe how she did it.”

Jabeur had never passed the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam before this year’s tournament, but she has been in the form of her life this season, reaching an all-time high of No. 2 in the world rankings.

Last year, she made history by becoming the first Arab player, male or female, to enter the top 10 in the singles rankings.
Kazakhstan's Elena Rybakina celebrates a point against Simona Halep.

Rybakina stuns Halep

In Thursday’s other semi-final, Rybakina produced a brilliant performance to upset two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep in straight sets – 6-3 6-3.

This will be the 23-year-old Rybakina’s first major final as she becomes the youngest women’s singles finalist at Wimbledon since Garbine Muguruza in 2015.

“I don’t know how to describe it, it was really good. Today I was mentally prepared and did everything I could and it was an amazing game,” said Rybakina, the first player representing Kazakhstan to reach a final at Wimbledon. his post-match interview.

Halep, meanwhile, will be disappointed not to have capitalized on her solid form having not dropped a set in the tournament ahead of Thursday’s match.

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