Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur advances to first Australian Open quarterfinal

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 26: Ons Jabeur of Tunisia celebrates after winning match point during her Women's Singles fourth round match against Qiang Wang of China on day seven of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 26, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Fred Lee/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 26: Ons Jabeur of Tunisia celebrates after winning match point during her Women’s Singles fourth round match against Qiang Wang of China on day seven of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 26, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Fred Lee/Getty Images)

Tunisian Ons Jabeur defeated China’s Wang Qiang in straight sets on Sunday to advance to the Australian Open quarterfinals for the first time.

Jabeur won 7-6, 6-1 in 1 hour 19 minutes on Margaret Court to defeat 27th seed Qiang for the first time in three meetings.

This is Jabeur’s best ever showing at a Grand Slam eclipsing her previous performances at the 2017 French Open and the 2019 US Open where she reached the 3rd round.

She is also the first Arab woman to make an appearance at a Grand Slam quarterfinal.

Jabeur and Qiang both dropped serve twice in the first set taking it to a tie-break in which Jabeur broke Qiang in the ninth game and converted her first set point to take the opening set 7-6 in just under an hour.

Jabeur raced through the second set breaking Qiang twice in the second and fourth games to take a 5-0 lead. Qiang would hold serve in the sixth game but Jabeur served out the match converting her first match point to take the set 6-1.

“Quarterfinals for the first time, trying to inspire many young generation back home either in Tunisia or the Arabic world, especially in Africa, which is amazing. It’s not impossible. I made it. Like I said before, I’ve been practicing in Tunisia from the age of 3 through 16 or 17. I’m 100 percent Tunisian product,” Jabeur said in her post-match interview.

“I’m receiving a lot of messages, especially people waking up at 5 a.m. in the morning to watch my match. I’m really proud. Hopefully they can still watch me and follow more, not just in the Grand Slam but the other tournaments.”

Jabeur will face 14th seed Sofia Kenin of the United States on Tuesday for a place in the semifinal.

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