?? 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.