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“I only knew Roland Garros before as a Grand Slam. For me the other ones didn’t exist” Clay-loving Jabeur targets more glory

Riding high with 10 consecutive victories, Ons Jabeur revealed her long association with clay

Ons Jabeur at the Italian Open tennis tournament in Rome, Italy Ons Jabeur at the Italian Open tennis tournament in Rome, Italy Image Credit: Zuma / Panoramic

WTA Rome 1000 | Draws Schedule

Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur has now won 16 matches on clay in 2022 – more than any other player on the WTA Tour. The 27-year-old, who won het first WTA 1000 title in Madrid and reached the finals in Charleston and Stuttgart, has an association with the surface that goes way back.

A former Roland-Garros junior champion (she won the girls singles title in 2011), Jabuer revealed how Roland-Garros was the only Grand Slam she really knew about and how much she loves playing on the surface after her latest big win.

On Friday, at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, Jabeur came from 6-1, 5-2 to defeat Maria Sakkari 1-6, 7-5, 6-1 to win her 10th match in a row and reach the semi-finals in Rome.

“I grew up playing a lot on clay. I only knew the Roland Garros before as a Grand Slam,” Jabeur said. “For me the other ones didn’t exist. I just love the fact that I maybe have more time on clay, the fact that I can play my game, do my shots, the dropshot, everything, the dirt. It’s fun to play on clay. You always have the chance to recover no matter what. Even if you’re behind a hundred meters, you can always come back and win the point.”

She’s such a fighter. I love her and her team: Jabeur on semi-final opponent Kasatkina

Daria Kasatkina Rome 2022
Daria Kasatkina at the 2022 Internazionali BNL D’Italia

Jabeur will next meet Daria Kasatkina, who reached the last four after Jil Teichmann withdrew due to a left thigh injury while trailing 6-4, 3-2.

The Tunisian leads their head-to-head 3-2, winning their last three matches, all of which have come over the past 12 months.

“Dash, never easy to play Dash, even though I know I won the last few matches before,” Jabeur said. “She’s such a fighter. I love her. I love her team. They’re doing incredible work. It’s going to be probably a great match, great opportunity for me to get to the finals. I’m just going to give it all and let’s see what’s going to happen.”

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