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Quote of the Day: How Ons Jabeur 'manifested' her US Open semifinal milestone
The Tunisian isn't exactly the "take it one match at a time and see what happens" type of player—or at least, not when it comes to the Grand Slams.
Published Sep 07, 2022
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NEW YORK—There’s something to be said about a player who isn’t shy about setting a goal, and letting the whole world in on it.
In many pre-tournament or pre-match press conferences, a top player will usually deflect when asked about targets or expectations—they’re either here to take it one match at a time, or here to win the whole thing. There’s no in between.
Not Ons Jabeur, recent Wimbledon finalist and former world No. 2. The Tunisian has been rapidly scaling up the heights of the WTA Tour, and has firmly established herself as a threat for the title in any tournament she plays—making history for the Arab world and African continent with seemingly every round.
Before the US Open, she revealed that her biggest goal at Flushing Meadows was a spot in the last four—a lofty goal, considering she had never been past the third round.
But she made it happen, and with a 6-4, 7-6 (4) victory over Ajla Tomljanovic, Jabeur became the first African woman to reach a US Open semifinal in the Open Era—and guaranteed herself a return to the world No. 2 ranking in the process.
Our Baseline quote of the day:
Q. What does it mean to you to set these high targets and actually back it up and do it?
ONS JABEUR: You know me. I have to say things out loud and kind of ‘manifest’ them in my way. Yeah, I am very satisfied with the semifinal, but now, to answer your question again, only two matches left. I'm going to give it all.
I'm very happy that I could adapt very fast on the hard court. The most important thing for me is really proving to myself that I could play on any surface. That's very, very important for me and for my confidence.
If that's the case then Jabeur’s confidence must be at an all-time high, because she hasn’t just reached her first US Open semifinal—only her second Grand Slam last four of her career, after her historic Wimbledon run—she’s done so at the expense of just one set.
Up next, she’ll face another first-time US Open semifinalist in No. 17 seed Caroline Garcia, who ousted American favorite Coco Gauff under the lights on Arthur Ashe Stadium. The Frenchwoman has yet to drop a set, and comes into the contest with a 13-match winning streak after her WTA 1000 victory in Cincinnati.
Jabeur, meanwhile, will be looking to extend her head-to-head dominance over Garcia. They’ve met twice at Grand Slams, and Jabeur has won both contests—including a straight-sets win at the US Open in 2019.