London: In a rematch of last year’s final, No.6 seed Ons Jabeur came from a set down to beat No.3 and defending champion Elena Rybakina in the Wimbledon quarterfinals and return to the semifinal, here Wednesday.
From a set down and 4-4 in the second set, sixth-seeded Jabeur won eight of the next nine games to beat third-seed and defending champion Rybakina 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-1, to reach her third career Grand Slam semifinal.
“I believe last year maybe I wasn’t ready to play this kind of match. I don’t regret last year. It happened for a reason. I always say it. It was meant to be this year. It was meant to be in the quarterfinals,” Jabeur said afterwards.
“I have learned a lot from the final last year. Definitely very proud of myself for the improvement that I did mentally, physically, and with the tennis racquet,” she added.
Notably, Wednesday’s match between Jabeur and Rybakina was the first rematch between the prior year’s finalists at the next Wimbledon since Serena and Venus Williams played in back-to-back finals from 2008-09.
For a spot in the final for the second year in a row, Jabeur will next face No.2 seed Aryna Sabalenka, who dismissed Madison Keys in straight sets.
Sabalenka leads their head-to-head, 3-1, including a straight-sets win in the Wimbledon quarterfinals in 2021. And the Tunisian is going into Thursday’s match with a similar mindset that she had against Rybakina.
“I’m going to try my best to stay focused and take every opportunity. Aryna is more emotional than Elena, so maybe it could be a good or bad thing, I’m not sure. But let’s see tomorrow,” Jabeur said.
“I’m going to prepare and take my revenge from two years ago,” she added.