Tennis: Jabeur beats champion Rybakina to reach Wimbledon semis

AFP , Wednesday 12 Jul 2023

Ons Jabeur gained revenge for her defeat in last year's Wimbledon final on Wednesday, coming from behind to beat Elena Rybakina and reach the last four.

Jabeur
Tunisia s Ons Jabeur celebrates after beating Kazakhstan s Elena Rybakina to win their women s singles match on day ten of the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, Wednesday, July 12, 2023. AP

 

In a repeat of the 2022 title match, the Tunisian sixth seed beat her third-ranked opponent 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 6-1 on Centre Court.

The 28-year-old will face Belarusian second seed Aryna Sabalenka for a place in Saturday's final at the All England Club.

"I'm very happy with the performance -- a lot of emotion out there, especially playing someone that serves really well," she said.

"It's frustrating to return but I'm glad I did everything, shouted, got angry, then got calm and focused and hopefully I can manage my emotions like this for the next two matches."

Rybakina was first to pounce, breaking to love in the fourth game when Jabeur went wide with a backhand but the Tunisian hit back immediately.

Jabeur took advantage of a loose volley at the net from Rybakina to break again and edge into a 6-5 lead.

But this time she was the player who failed to consolidate, squandering a set point as Rybakina forced a tie-break, which she won.

The Kazakh survived break points in the second game of the second set while Jabeur was forced to dig deep on her serve to move into a 3-2 lead.

Both players held serve until the 10th game, when Rybakina cracked and Jabeur levelled the match.

The force was with Jabeur in the decider as she opened up a 3-0 lead and saved two break points to move 4-1 ahead.

Jabeur powered a backhand down the line to break once again and held her serve to seal the win, letting out a roar of delight.

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