Wimbledon: Sabalenka ends Jabeur’s run to reach first grand slam semi-final
Jabeur beat three grand slam champions en route to her second major quarter-final, yet second seed Sabalenka had just too much.
The world number four prevailed 6-4 6-3 in 75 minutes on Centre Court on Tuesday, teeing up a first semi-final appearance at a grand slam.
Sabalenka will face Karolina Pliskova, who overcame Viktorija Golubic to book her place in an All England Club semi-final for the first time.
Jabeur had to save four break and set points at 5-4 down in the opener, after what had been an even start to the contest.
Yet her resolve cracked at the fifth time of asking as Sabalenka, appearing in her first grand slam quarter-final, nosed ahead.
Jabeur’s response was strong, the world number 24 forcing three break points in the opening game of set two, but she failed to take her chance.
Sabalenka made it count, with a brilliant drop shot from Jabeur – who had the backing of a full crowd – not enough to see off the break when she sliced a forehand.
An immediate break back prevented Sabalenka pulling clear, but Jabeur then squandered another opportunity at 2-2.
It was a lead Sabalenka made sure not to relinquish and with Jabeur having conceded serve again in game eight, Sabalenka fended off a break point to serve out the win at the first time of asking.
“I’m really happy, it’s always tough against Ons, she’s such an amazing person, great player. I’m really happy I could win here today,” said the Belarusian.
Data Slam: Unforced errors a cause for concern
While Sabalenka can reflect on a job well done, the 23-year-old will need to tighten up her game as she looks for a maiden grand slam success.
She made 20 unforced errors in contrast to Jabeur’s 11 and may well have been made to pay had her opponent managed to force through more break points, but Jabeur took just one of her seven chances.
Jabeur – 22/11 Sabalenka – 27/20
Jabeur – 4/2 Sabalenka – 3/5
BREAK POINTS WON
Jabeur – 1/7 Sabalenka – 3/10
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