Wimbledon: Barty reaches semis; Jabeur's dream run ends

Filed on July 6, 2021
Tunisia's Ons Jabeur plays a forehand return against Belarus' Aryna Sabalenka during their quarterfinal match on Tuesday. (AFP)

Jabeur departs having lost in her second Grand Slam quarterfinal

World number one Ash Barty outclassed compatriot Ajla Tomljanovic 6-1 6-3 to reach the Wimbledon semifinals on Friday and set up a meeting with 2018 champion Angelique Kerber.

In the first all-Australian women’s Grand Slam quarterfinal since the 1980 Wimbledon championships, the 25-year-old Barty produced a calm and composed display on Centre Court.

Meanwhile, Aryna Sabalenka ended Ons Jabeur’s historic run at Wimbledon on Tuesday, the second-seeded Belarus player’s power getting the better of the guile of the Tunisian 6-4, 6-3 in 74 minutes.

The 23-year-old, who had only won one match on her three previous visits to Wimbledon, will play former world number one Karolina Pliskova who eased into the last four with a straight sets (6-2 6-2) win over Viktorija Golubic.

Jabeur departs having lost in her second Grand Slam quarterfinal.

However, the 26-year-old has done wonders in her goal to use her exploits to encourage young Arab women — especially North African — to take up the sport.

Sabalenka may sport a tiger tattoo — which prompted her parents not to speak to her for a week in 1998 — but the broadest of smiles spread across her face as she soaked up the reality of her achievement.

She will try and go one better than compatriot Viktoria Azarenka who twice reached the last four in 2011 and 2012.

“I mean I am really happy with this win,” she said.

“It’s always tough against Ons, she’s an amazing player and person.

“I’m happy it looks like everything is working for me. It’s really tricky, shots on the grass.

“It’s sometimes hard to do anything with the ball. It fits my game and I’m really enjoying my time on the court.”

Sabalenka said she was anticipating a tough battle on Thursday against Pliskova.

“It doesn’t matter what happens in the past in tennis (playing Pliskova),” she said.

“Piskova’s a great player and she’s serving well.

“Her game fits really well on the grass and I’m going to do all I can to enjoy this one.”

Earlier, former champion Angelique Kerber reached the semifinals for the fourth time on Tuesday with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic.

The German world number 28, who won the title in 2018, will face top seed Barty for a place in Saturday’s final.

“It’s a magical place for me,” said Kerber, who is a three-time major winner, after securing the 80th victory of her career on grass.

“I was excited to play the grass court season after a one year break. I am so happy having my heart on the court and enjoying my time.”

“I really enjoy every moment here. It was a tight match, she played really well and I knew I had to play my best tennis today.”

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