Arab tennis icon Ons Jabeur reaches US Open final

Tunisia's Jabeur also made history as the first Arab and African woman to reach the Wimbledon final in July



Ons Jabeur of Tunisia celebrates a break point against Caroline Garcia of France during their semifinal. (AFP)
Ons Jabeur of Tunisia celebrates a break point against Caroline Garcia of France during their semifinal. (AFP)

By AFP

Published: Fri 9 Sep 2022, 11:20 AM

Last updated: Fri 9 Sep 2022, 11:47 AM

Tunisia's Ons Jabeur demolished Caroline Garcia in straight sets to become the first Arab and African woman in history to reach the final of the US Open on Thursday.

Fifth seed Jabeur dominated Garcia from start to finish of a one-sided semi-final at Arthur Ashe Stadium, winning 6-1, 6-3 in just 1hr 6min.

Jabeur, who also made history as the first Arab and African woman to reach the final of Wimbledon in July, will play world number one Iga Swiatek in Saturday's final.

"It feels amazing," Jabeur said. "After Wimbledon I had a lot of pressure on me and I'm really relieved that I can back up my results.

"The hard court season started a little bit bad, but I'm very happy that I made it to the finals here."

Jabeur's victory extended her career-long domination of Garcia.

The 28-year-old Tunisian had beaten Garcia four times as a junior in Grand Slam events, and twice as a professional in Slams before Thursday.

"I know she was playing amazing tennis and that puts a lot of pressure on you," Jabeur said. "It wasn't easy for me but mentally I was so ready."

Jabeur will head into Saturday's final brimming with confidence after a dominant victory over the in-form Garcia.

Garcia, seeded 17, had arrived in the last four on the back of a 13-match winning streak which included a victory at the Cincinnati Masters lead-in event.

But Jabeur ruthlessly dismantled Garcia's dream of becoming the first French woman to win the US Open crown with a clinical win.

Jabeur fired down eight aces and won 83% of her points on first serve.

Jabeur saluted Tunisian supporters, stating that fans in her homeland had tuned in to her quarterfinal earlier this week instead of Paris Saint-Germain's Champions League clash with Juventus.

"Usually in Tunisia they follow soccer but that time they chose to watch my match," she said. "That's unbelievable. So thank you guys in Tunisia if you're still awake and watching."

In the final, she faces the tall task of taking down world number one Swiatek.

Swiatek beat Jabeur in their most recent meeting, the Rome final in May, amid an extraordinary 37-match winning streak in which she collected her second Roland-Garros title.

"Iga never loses finals, so it's going to be very tough," said Jabeur. "It's going to be tough match. Definitely going for my revenge. I love playing on this surface, and I feel like I know exactly what to do against her."


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