As expected, there have been plenty of sights, shocks and stellar moments of tennis at this year’s Wimbledon tournament – there have also been moments of very predictable downpours given the British weather – and whilst there have been plenty of standout matches and individual performances so far, Ons Jabeur’s revenge tie with last years champion, Elena Rybakina, would certainly feature in most people’s top tens.
Just 12 months ago, Jabeur lost out to Rybakina over three sets, 3-6 6-2 6-2 but she was intent on enacting ‘painful’ revenge at this time of asking, and with a new game plan in place, the Tunisian was far more aggressive on the court and beat her Kazakh opponent 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-1 in another three-set thriller that those with Tennis tickets would definitely have enjoyed.
Meeting with the media following the tie, the 28-year-old admitted that last year’s defeat had been incredibly ‘painful’, so much so, that she has not in fact watched the entire match back herself yet, as it was still too raw.
“If I watch the whole match, it would have been terrible. I’m glad that I’m speaking with my coach a lot and he’s explaining things for me. I’ve watched a few points, but not the whole match.”
With revenge secured, Jabeur naturally progresses through to the Semi-Finals and with renewed confidence of going one step further than last year and lifting the trophy herself, she is now set to meet second seed and current Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka, and with the form Sabalenka has been in so far, this could prove to be yet another enthralling encounter. For those with Australian Open tickets, they are probably relishing this one.
Speaking more about the new game plan that was concocted by her coach for the game, and the tournament as a whole, Jabeur went on to explain.
“When we entered the court, I felt a similar feeling of playing the same match against her. I went for the other seat on court that I used last year. Maybe it’s the seat that made me win today.”
The more aggressive style certainly won out and paid off as Jabeur hit 35 winners when compared to known powerful shot-maker Rybakina’s 21. Going on the front foot worked perfectly, despite the disappointment of losing the opening set.
“I said I am going for my shots because if you try to go easy with her it is not going to work. It is not easy playing her but I wish we could exchange this match for the finals last year.”
If she can go one stage further this year, the disappointing memories of 12 months ago will quickly fade into the background.
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