Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
Tunisian Ons Jabeur celebrates booking a second round clash with top seed Simona Halep
Wild card Arab Ons Jabeur embraced the ardent “home” support to clinch a memorable 7-6(3) 1-6 6-3 triumph over Alison Riske to surge into the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships second round.
The Tunisian flags were waving and the chants kept coming as the world No.45 thrived in front of the raucous crowd to fire 28 winners past the American.
Jabeur’s reward is facing top seed Simona Halep on Wednesday.
What a finisher @Ons_Jabeur 👏👏👏 #DDFTennis pic.twitter.com/i9wRVbKQt7
— Dubai Tennis Champs (@DDFTennis) February 17, 2020
“That really was a great match, it feels like a home event for me,” declared Jabeur, who trains in Dubai. “It’s unbelievable for me, especially seeing all the Tunisian flags in the crowd. Hopefully I can continue playing this way.
“I’m really grateful for the crowd for their support, hopefully they can come for the next round and the big match.”
The 25-year-old isn’t going to shy away from the challenge presented by world No.2 Halep.
“I was really pumped from the beginning to see the schedule, the draw and everything. Since I was there, I didn’t have the choice.
“Hopefully it’s going to be a great match. She’s a great inspiration for many players. I’m lucky enough to play her. I’m setting up new mentality for myself. Hopefully I go for the win.”
Jabeur, the first Arab woman to reach the quarter-final of a Grand Slam at the Australian Open last month, is flourishing off the back of her run in Melbourne.
“Yeah Australia was amazing, it means I come here with a lot of confidence. Winning some matches, playing on big courts, playing big players actually helped me to be able to win these kind of matches,” added the wild card after prevailing past Riske.
“I knew that she’s a tough player. She played incredibly good in Australia. Almost actually made it to the quarters. Yeah, I’ve seen her playing good at Wimbledon. Everywhere she was killing it. I’m really happy that I made it through this win. Hopefully I can play better next round and be able to get the win.”