For the first time in five meetings, Jabeur managed to get one past the two-time Wimbledon champion.
Ons Jabeur, who won just three games in her last match against Petra Kvitova — a 6-1, 6-2 defeat at the Western & Southern Open last summer, finally found a way through on Wednesday. For the first time in five meetings, Jabeur managed to get one past the two-time Wimbledon champion following a 6-4, 6-4 win in the second round of the Sydney Tennis Classic. “[This win] was very important,” Jabeur said after the match. “That’s why, for some reason I was talking to my coach about it, that I wanted to win at least once against her. She’s the kind of player that puts a lot of pressure on me that I don’t particularly like, and that gave me the courage to work on this style of a game.”
“Cincinnati was a very tough loss for me, but she played unbelievable. I’m someone that doesn’t like to go home without any solutions, without knowing what should I do later. … So that helps me to be better on the court and to get back and play better when you play someone that plays like that. I played well. I could have played better but I think I had a goal in my head and I went for it. It’s very important that I managed to really do what I wanted to do.”
The scoreline might read as a straight-set victory but Jabeur’s first win against Kvitova had its own difficult moments. She rallied from 3-1 down in both sets to see out her opponent.
“I think I’m playing better. As a player, I’m much better on the court. I’m more confident,” Jabeur said. “I’ve got to say, I learned from my losses against her, especially the last one in Cincinnati. To be honest, I’m glad that the court wasn’t super fast. It kind of helped me a little bit.
“I practiced more and more on those shots. I’m getting better on this one. Been trying to put every ball in and more ball in to make it difficult for her. It gave me confidence on the court to kind of make sure to play my shots.”
Next up for Jabeur is a clash against Anett Kontveit. “Anett is a great player,” said Jabeur. “We had our moments last year. I told her, ‘You’re obsessed with me, you always follow me, so stop. But it’s great to have her on tour. She’s a tough player.
“Even the matches we played against each other were always tough. … I know the pressure is on me, not really on her. But maybe some payback for last year. She is going to give everything, and she doesn’t care about the results. So I will try to do the same, and I will really try to win tomorrow.”