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.
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.
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
?? Western & Southern Open – QF Preview + Prediction: ?? Ons Jabeur vs. ?? Victoria Azarenka
A resurgent Victoria Azarenka will be looking to reach the semi-finals of the Western & Southern Open for the first time since she won the event in 2013 when she comes up against Ons Jabeur on Wednesday. This will be the first career meeting between the pair, an interesting match-up, a big opportunity for both to the reach the final 4.
Ons Jabeur continues to impress in 2020. This hasn’t been a good year for most, for Jabeur it has been a great year. Jabeur reached a Grand Slam QF for the first time earlier this year at the Australian Open and is now into the final 8 at the Western & Southern Open for the first time. Jabeur battled past Leylah Fernandez 0-6 6-4 6-3 in the first round before upsetting the 7th seed and defending champion Madison Keys 6-4 6-1. Jabeur booked her spot in the final 8 with a commanding 6-3 6-0 win over Christina McHale.
Azarenka is having a great week in New York. The 2-time former US Open finalist has a great record at this venue and could be on the verge of another big result at Flushing Meadows. Azarenka started the week with a 6-2 6-3 win over Donna Vekic, followed by a 6-2 7-6 win over Caroline Garcia, a pair of important wins given Azarenka had never previously beaten either of those opponents. Azarenka booked her spot in the final 8 with a hard-fought 6-4 7-5 win over an in-form Alize Cornet.
I like Azarenka in this match-up. Jabeur is certainly playing great tennis right now, but I think she could be exposed in this match-up. Azarenka isn’t usually bothered by versatile opponents; the former world number 1 can handle the different looks Jabeur will throw at her. Azarenka’s baseline game has looked great this week, especially her backhand. If Azarenka is on her game, she won’t allow Jabeur to spin her webs, Azarenka’s power from the baseline and ability to take the ball early and move up the court can expose the poor movement of Jabeur.
Prediction: Victoria Azarenka to defeat Ons Jabeur in 2 sets
?? Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, R2 Preview ?? (1) Simona Halep vs. ?? (wc) Ons Jabeur
The top seeded Simona Halep begins her 2020 Dubai campaign on Wednesday against Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur. Halep won the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in 2015 and will be hoping to replicate that result 5 years later. The Romanian received a bye through the opening round whilst Jabeur came through a tough test against Alison Riske in 3 sets. Will Halep make a positive start to her 2020 Dubai campaign?
Simona Halep made a great start to the season in Australian. The reigning Wimbledon champion reached the semi-finals at the Australian Open and will look to build on that momentum during the Middle Eastern swing. Halep usually performs well at this time of the year having captured the title in both Dubai and Doha, the conditions certainly favour the Romanian.
Ons Jabeur has also made a very bright start to the season. Jabeur made her first Grand Slam quarter-final at the Australian Open and is arguably playing the best tennis of her career at the moment. Jabeur advanced to the second round in Dubai thanks to a hard-fought 7-6 1-6 6-3 win over Alison Riske, another encouraging with for the Tunisian.
I’m going to give Halep the benefit of the doubt here. Halep hasn’t played a singles match for a couple of weeks and was comfortably defeated in the opening round of the doubles event in Dubai, it is understandable if the Romanian is rusty here. Jabeur is confident and has nothing to lose, the Tunisian isn’t easy to play against and will probably trouble Halep at times. Nevertheless, the consistency and stamina of Halep should eventually prove too much for Jabeur to handle, especially in the critical moments.
Prediction: Simona Halep to defeat Ons Jabeur in 3 sets
Become a WTAADDICT subscriber to receive daily betting tips and analysis
80% off sale – 2020 subscriptions during February. Join here
?? Australian Open, R4 preview + prediction: ?? (27) Qiang Wang vs. ?? Ons Jabeur
An unlikely fourth round clash from Melbourne Park sees the 27th seeded Qiang Wang come up against Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur. Wang and Jabeur are both featuring at the fourth round stage in Melbourne for the first time. Wang has previously reached the last 16 at a major on one other occasion (2019 US Open), whilst Jabeur has reached totally new territory at a major. Both enter this match on the back of big upset wins, it will be interesting to see who can maintain their composure and make the most of this great opportunity.
Qiang Wang caused the biggest upset of the 2020 season thus far when she defeated Serena Williams 6/4 6/7 7/5. Wang played the match of her life to defeat the 7-time former champion at the third round stage in Melbourne. Wang served brilliantly and was too solid for Williams from the baseline, certainly the biggest win of Wang’s career thus far. Wang cruised through her two prior matches in Melbourne, a 7/6 6/3 win over Pauline Parmentier, follower by a 6/1 6/2 win over Fiona Ferro.
Ons Jabeur has already claimed 3 big victories to reach the final 16 in Melbourne. Jabeur started the event in style with a 6/4 6/2 victory over the 12th seeded Johanna Konta before fighting from behind to defeat Caroline Garcia 1/6 6/2 6/3. Jabeur booked her ticket in the fourth round with an impressive 7/5 6/3 7/5 win over Caroline Wozniacki, a win that ended the Dane’s career.
Qiang Wang has won both of the of the previous meetings between the pair, both very comfortably. The most recent match between the pair took place just a few weeks ago in Shenzhen where Wang won 6/0 6/3. Wang also defeated Jabeur in Dubai back in 2017, a 6/3 6/1 win for Wang on that occasion.
I’m going to side with Wang here. In general, I believe Wang is the better player, her far superior ranking over the last few years proves that. Secondly, this is a good match-up for Wang, the head-to-head record proves that. Thirdly, Wang is far more consistent. Wang has the mix of power, stamina and defensive skills to tame the flashy game of Jabeur. Wang handled the power of Serena Williams brilliantly in the previous round, leaving her perfectly placed to deal with Jabeur. Furthermore, Jabeur likes to play drop shots to disrupt opponents, but this tactic doesn’t trouble Wang given how quick the Chinese player is when moving forward. Wang for the win.
Prediction: Qiang Wang to defeat Ons Jabeur in 2 sets
Become a WTAADDICT subscriber to receive daily betting tips and analysis
50% off sale on subscriptions during the Australian Open. Join here
Wimbledon ???? Day 2, R1 Match Preview: (7) ?? Svetlana Kuznetsova vs (Q) ?? Ons Jabeur
7th seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova begins her 2017 Wimbledon campaign on Tuesday when she comes up against Tunisian qualifier Ons Jabeur. Wimbledon has generally been Kuznetsova’s least successful slam, unsurprisingly given grass is the surface that Kuznetsova is least comfortable on. The Russian is likely to be vulnerable early in London and is unlikely to have things all her own way against Jabeur, an opponent that posses extreme power and is in decent form having won three matches in the qualifying draw.