Skip to content

Wimbledon: Ons Jabeur overcomes Aryna Sabalenka to set up final date with Marketa Vondrousova

Ons Jabeur completed a superb comeback to reach the Wimbledon final for a second successive year; she will play Marketa Vondrousova, who became the first unseeded women's finalist at SW19 since Billie Jean King in 1963, ending the dreams of Elina Svitolina

Ons Jabeur and Marketa Vondrousova at Wimbledon
Image: Ons Jabeur and Marketa Vondrousova will contest the Wimbledon women's singles final on Saturday

Ons Jabeur battled back from a set and a break down to defeat Aryna Sabalenka to reach the Wimbledon final for the second consecutive year where she will play Marketa Vondrousova.

Jabeur, who finished runner-up to Elena Rybakina in 2022, triumphed 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-3 to complete a superb comeback and end Sabalenka's hopes of becoming the new world No 1.

Instead of a politically-charged clash between Sabalenka and Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, Centre Court will host Jabeur against Vondrousova on Saturday.

Sky Sports announces all-star line-up for US Open
Sky Sports announces all-star line-up for US Open

Tennis returns to Sky Sports with live coverage of the US Open. Sky Sports will have access to all individual court feeds, broadcasting a minimum of 135 hours, with Martina Navratilova, Tim Henman, Johanna Konta and Laura Robson

Jabeur was devastated after losing to Elina Rybakina in last year's final, but believes she is a different player 12 months on.

She said: "I'm working a lot with my mental coach who's been helping me a lot and I might be writing a book about it.

"I'm very proud of me, the old me maybe would have lost that match but I'm glad I kept digging deep and finding the strength.

"I'm learning to transform bad energy into good energy. After the anger of the first set I just tried to stay focused. I'm accepting it, digging deep to go and win this match, and hopefully this tournament."

Also See:

Ons Jabeur celebrates victory over Aryna Sabalenka following the Ladies Singles - Semi-Final match on day eleven of the 2023 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon. Picture date: Thursday July 13, 2023.
Image: Jabeur produced a rousing comeback to beat Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka in the semi-finals

Ons the conquer

Ons Jabeur is the first women's player to defeat three top-10 opponents in the same edition of Wimbledon since Serena Williams in 2012.

In 2012, Serena beat Victoria Azarenka, Agnieszka Radwanska and Petra Kvitova.

Jabeur led the first-set tie-break but dumped a backhand into the net and then sent a forehand long as Sabalenka forged ahead.

She seemed set to capitulate at 2-2 in the second with a double fault putting Sabalenka in control.

But the Belarusian tightened up horribly and a double-fault gave Jabeur break point which she converted for 4-4.

With the Centre Court crowd right behind her, Jabeur somehow saved a break point by staying in a ridiculous rally until Sabalenka smashed a forehand wide, and then levelled the match with an unstoppable return on to the baseline.

The 28-year-old piled the pressure on the Sabalenka serve and won a nerve-jangling game with a third break point to go 4-2 up in the decider.

Sabalenka saved two match points on serve but Jabeur finished the job behind her own with an ace before raising her arms in triumph.

The Tunisian continued: "I'm learning to transform the bad energy to the good one, so the anger that I had from the first set I tried to stay focused.

"Some things I have no control over, she can ace any time, she can hit a big serve even if I have a break point and that's frustrating a bit.

"But I'm glad that I'm accepting it and digging deep to just go and win this match and hopefully this tournament."

Asked about facing Vondrousova in the final, she said: "Marketa is a great, great player and I've already lost two times to her this year, so I'm going for my revenge again, I guess."

Unseeded Czech Vondrousova ends Svitolina's title dreams

Marketa Vondrousova consoles Elina Svitolina (left) at the net following the Ladies Singles - Semi Final on day eleven of the 2023 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon. Picture date: Thursday July 13, 2023.
Image: Marketa Vondrousova consoles Elina Svitolina (left) at the net following their semi-final on Centre Court

Marketa Vondrousova reached her maiden Wimbledon final as she defeated a weary Elina Svitolina to win 6-3 6-3.

Svitolina's efforts amid war in her homeland of Ukraine and only nine months after giving birth to daughter Skai have been one of the stories of the tournament.

But her hopes of reaching a first major final were ended in emphatic fashion by 24-year-old Czech Vondrousova, whose victory makes her the first unseeded women's finalist at Wimbledon since 1963.

This is Vondrousova's first significant Grand Slam run since she made the final at the French Open in 2019 as a teenager, losing to Ashleigh Barty.

She said in her on-court interview: "I cannot believe it, I am just very happy that I made the final. She is such a fighter and such a great person, I think it was a very tough match and I am just very happy.

"I was crazy nervous. I was nervous the whole match. I was leading in the second set and she came back, you just have to stay focused and fight for every game.

"I didn't play for six months last year and you never know if you can be at that level again. I am so grateful to be here and healthy. Last year I was watching my best friend in qualifiers with a cast on.

"I am just going to chill now; I have my friends here and maybe my family will come for the final, we'll see."

The Czech mixes big hits from the baseline with drop shots, lobs and short angles and she wrapped up the first set in less than half an hour, breaking Svitolina's serve three times in a row.

The fans tried to will Svitolina, who lost both her previous Grand Slam semi-finals here and at the US Open in 2019, back into the match in the second set but Vondrousova was firmly in her groove and she moved to the brink of victory at 4-0.

The Czech can be a nervous closer and there were definite signs of tension as Svitolina broke in the fifth game and then again to get back on serve, with Vondrousova missing a collective six chances to move to within a game of victory.

Svitolina gave her a helping hand with another poor game, though, and Vondrousova made it across the line before her opponent departed Centre Court to a standing ovation.

Around Sky