Jabeur, Badosa battle into semi-finals at Indian Wells
Ons Jabeur advances to the Indian Wells semi-finals and will break into the top 10 next week following her victory over Anett Kontaveit on Thursday. Kerber will meet Paula Badosa on Friday.
Ons Jabeur booked her spot in the semi-finals of a WTA 1000 for the first time in her career when she defeated Anett Kontaveit 7-5, 6-3 at the BNP Paribas Open on Thursday evening.
Jabeur served terribly at 40.3 percent, but the rest of her game was in fine form and she broke Kontaveit five times while prevailing in one hour and 26 minutes.
“Honestly (it was) a great match; great fight,” the 12th-seeded Tunisian commented. “(It’s) always tough to play against Anett. I tried to play my game little bit, but she knows me so well. It was kind of tough to kind of execute those drop-shots. I’m pretty glad that I stayed calm when I needed to be. It was very stressful at the end. But I’m glad that I got the win and looking forward to [playing again]. Why not get the title here?”
Badosa beats Kerber in nightcap
Before Jabeur can play for the title, she will have to get past No 21 seed Paula Badosa in the semis. Badosa advanced in Thursday’s nightcap with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over Angelique Kerber. The Spaniard won her match in the exact same amount of time — one hour and 26 minutes.
Similar to the first quarter-final between Jabeur and Kontaveit, the serve meant very little when Badosa and Kerber collided. They combined for two aces (both by Badosa) and eight double-faults (four apiece). There were a total of eight breaks (five for Badosa and three for Kerber). The German won only 57 percent of the points even when she put her first delivery in the court.
Kerber erased a 5-2 deficit in the second set, but Badosa steadied herself to take the final two games.
“The 5-2 game, I got really nervous,” the world No 27 admitted. “(From) 5-3, 5-4, until 5-all, she played amazing game. Of course I was nervous, but she’s an amazing champion. The champions, they play well at the important moments and at the limits. So that’s what she did.”
Badosa and Jabeur have faced each other on two previous occasions and neither encounter has disappointed. After Badosa prevailed 7-6, 2-6, 6-4 at the 2015 US Open, Jabeur most recently got the job done 7-6, 5-7, 7-5 at this year’s Miami Open.
“It’s really fun to play against her,” Badosa said. “We’re really good friends, so I’m playing another friend. It’s going to be a tough one. I always said she’s one of the most talented players in the world. She’s doing an amazing year. It’s nice seeing all these players that we were like a few years ago outside the Top 100 now being Top 10, Top 20, fighting for the finals. It’s amazing. I’m super happy and I’m happy that I can play her.”