Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur Knocks out Wozniacki to Advance to Australian Open Round of 16

Friday, 24 January, 2020 - 11:15
Asharq Al-Awsat

Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur knocked out on Friday Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki to advance to the round of 16 at the Australian Open in what was the Dane’s final match before retiring.

World No.78 Jabeur, who had previously reached the third round at the French and US Opens in her career, advances to the round of 16 at a Grand Slam for the first time in her career, thanks to a 7-5, 3-6, 7-5 victory that lasted just over two hours inside Melbourne Arena.

"I'm really happy, especially here at this Grand Slam -- usually, [here] I'd lose first round -- but today I'm really happy that I made it through to the fourth round," Jabeur said on-court after the match.

"I don't have much experience, so I was a little bit nervous, especially in the last set. She plays unbelievable and she runs really good."

Wozniacki announced late last year that she would retire from the sport after the Australian Open, where she won her only Grand Slam singles title.

“There’s a lot of emotions, a lot of things I can’t compartmentalize now,” the former No. 1-ranked player said. “A lot of excitement. A little sadness. Flashbacks to since I was a kid to this moment. But I’m happy. I’m very happy. Even though I was crying a lot earlier, it really wasn’t sad tears. I think just happy tears.”

When the draw was made for the season’s first major tournament, there was a lot of hype about a potential fourth-rounder between Wozniacki and her good friend Serena Williams, who has won seven Australian Opens among her 23 majors.

Neither of them will be in the second week, with Wozniacki telling the crowd it was “only fitting that my last match ended with a forehand error” and Williams describing her shocking loss to Wang Qiang as unprofessional.

The pair met later to commiserate.

“Yeah, she came into the locker room afterwards. We were both kind of bummed about our matches,” Williams said, tearing up when asked about her friend’s legacy. “Yeah, she’s had an amazing career. Oh, my God, I’m getting emotional. Oh, my God. I’m going to miss her.”

Jabeur revealed she was “a little bit stressed” about the prospect of sending the Dane into retirement.

“I'm really happy that I played you. You are such an inspiration for me and many players, and I'm lucky enough to have been on tour with you,” she said.

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