Ons Jabeur is the first player to reach the quarter-finals of the twentieth edition of the Mutua Madrid Open. The match was paused for several minutes due to rain: “it wasn’t hard, I was joking about how they were getting the water off the court. It was fun, I think it was good, I took the positives from the situation. She was playing with good rhythm, I wasn’t happy with my shot making, so I was able to talk to my coach and get some advice”, she said.
The Tunisian beat Swiss player Belinda Bencic in three sets, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2, in a repeat of the match in the same round (last sixteen) of the event last year. Then, Jabeur had to retire through injury, therefore, she has now redeemed herself: “maybe I was meant to do last year what I have done now, one year later. This is a great tournament, my goal is to go very far and hopefully be in the final”.
Before finding out who she will meet in the next round – the winner of the Gauff-Halep encounter – Jabeur joked: “as long as they play for six hours, I’m happy”. It would turn out to be the Romanian, Paula Badosa’s executioner, after a 6-4, 6-4 victory over the young American in just over an hour. “I’m looking for revenge on Simona, she beat me in Dubai. She played very well and it’s frustrating when someone controls me so well on court”.
It is a special week for Jabeur, who today celebrates Eid al-Fitr, the festival that marks the end of the fasting of Ramadan. The Tunisian (a self-declared Real Madrid fan), was able to celebrate the Whites’ league win and hopes to follow in their footsteps at the Mutua Madrid open: “It’s very special playing here, with the city, the football team winning the league. So, who knows? Maybe it’s my time”.