Wimbledon QF Preview: (2) Aryna Sabalenka vs. (21) Ons Jabeur
The pick of the quarter-final matchups on Tuesday at SW19 sees the 2nd seeded Aryna Sabalenka take on the 21st seeded Ons Jabeur. Both ladies will be competing in their first Wimbledon quarter-final, both looking to reach a Grand Slam semi-final for the first time.
Aryna Sabalenka made the most of a favourable draw to move through the first week in London, beating a pair of qualifiers and a wild card to make the round of 16 at Wimbledon for the first time. The Belarusian overcame her first major test in the fourth round by beating an in-form Elena Rybakina in 3 sets, belatedly booking her spot in maiden Grand Slam quarter-final.
R1: def. (Q) Monica Niculescu 6-1 6-4
R2: def. (WC) Katie Boulter 4-6 6-3 6-3
R3: def. (Q) María Camila Osorio Serrano 6-0 6-3
R4: def. (18) Elena Rybakina 6-3 4-6 6-3
Ons Jabeur has had one of the toughest draws of all the quarterfinalists, but admirably defeated a pair of Grand Slam champions from a set down to reach her second Grand Slam quarter-final. Jabeur has won more matches than anyone on tour in 2021 having recently won her first singles title on the grass of Birmingham, her confidence is clearly at an all-time high.
R1: def. Rebecca Peterson 6-2 6-1
R2: def. (WC) Venus Williams 7-5 6-0
R3: def. (11) Garbine Muguruza 5-7 6-3 6-2
R4: def. (7) Iga Swiatek 5-7 6-1 6-1
The head-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece. It was Jabeur who emerged victorious in the first meeting between the two, a 7-6 2-6 6-3 victory at the third round stage of Roland Garros last year. More recently it was Sabalenka who came out on top with a 6-2 6-4 win on the hard courts in Abu Dhabi. This will be the first meeting between the pair on a grass court and the most important match in their H2H series.
In match-up where both ladies possess great power behind their serves and from the baseline, it is the added versatility and touch to the Jabeur game that should give the Tunisian the edge, especially on a grass court. Jabeur has the ability to unsettle the big game of Sabalenka because of her unpredictability. Sabalenka hasn’t played any opponents with much variety to their game this tournament, that leaves her vulnerable heading into this tricky match-up. Conversely Jabeur is coming off a pair of very difficult victories over opponents that possess similar threats to Sabalenka, seemingly leaving Jabeur very well prepared for this match.
Prediction: Ons Jabeur to defeat Aryna Sabalenka in 3 sets