Ons Jabuer will 'try to catch up' with world number one Iga Swiatek

1 week ago 351
Ons Jabeur with the Berlin Open trophyOns Jabeur has won WTA tournaments in Madrid and Berlin this year

Ons Jabeur hopes to chase down world number one Iga Swiatek after moving up to a career-high third in the WTA rankings.

Tunisian Jabeur picked up the third singles title of her career at the weekend, lifting the Berlin Open trophy.

But the 27-year-old has some way to go to catch Swiatek, the French Open champion who is on a 35-match winning streak and has almost double Jabeur's rankings points.

"I'm really, really glad that it (hard work) is paying off finally," Jabeur told BBC Sport Africa.

"I have been trying to find solutions to improve every time and try to push myself. And to see that the numbers are following, it's really important for me.

"Now, I move on to the next goal to be number two in the world, and stop Iga maybe one day. She's a little bit far (off), but I'll try to catch up."

Jabeur says she has "great confidence" in the build-up to Wimbledon following her victory over Belinda Bencic in Germany on Sunday.

She took the opening set 6-3, as Bencic injured her left ankle in the final game, and the Swiss was eventually forced to retire with Jabeur leading 2-1 in the second set.

Jabeur adds the Berlin Open title to the WTA 1000 event she won in Madrid last month and last year's success on grass in Birmingham.

"At the beginning of the season I said I want more titles, and I hope there are more titles to come," she said.

"I'm pretty happy, and that gives me a lot of confidence to be ready for Wimbledon for sure."

Playing with Serena 'a great honour'

Jabeur's climb to third equals the highest singles ranking for any African, male or female, matching the spot reached by South Africa's Amanda Coetzer in November 1997.

Jabeur is set to face American Shelby Rogers in the last 32 at the Eastbourne International on Tuesday, but is also teaming up with one of the sport's greatest ever players in Sussex.

The Tunisian will partner 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams in the women's doubles at the tournament, as the 41-year-old returns to the tour for the first time since last August.

"I'm glad that she picked me, you know it's unbelievable," Jabeur said.

"I'm very happy to be part of her journey and her comeback, and playing with such a legend is really inspiring for me.

"I will do my best to not miss any shots, but you know it's just a really great honour to play next to her - it's incredible.

"Anything she asks me to do, I'll do it for sure!"

Source Article