French Open: Haddad Maia dashes Jabeur's hopes

Beatriz Haddad Maia celebrates a point against Ons Jabeur. Photo: AFP/Thomas Samson

Paris: Seventh seed Ons Jabeur's hopes of becoming the first African woman to win a singles Grand Slam lay in ruins on Wednesday after her 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-1 defeat by Brazil's Beatriz Haddad Maia in the French Open quarterfinals.

Jabeur was bidding to reach her third Grand Slam semifinal in less than a year but her plans were scuppered by the 14th-seeded left-hander who battled back bravely to book her own maiden last four Slam appearance.

She is the first Brazilian woman since Maria Bueno in 1968 to reach a Slam semifinal and the first female player from her country to book a last four spot at Roland Garros in the Open Era.

The Tunisian, a finalist in Wimbledon and the US Open last year, bagged a couple of quick breaks at the start to move into the driving seat with Haddad Maia having trouble dealing with her opponent's flat groundstrokes.

The Brazilian, having already become the first woman from her country in 55 years to reach the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam, decided to run Jabeur instead.

Ons Jabeur
Ons Jabeur in action against Beatriz Haddad Maia. Photo: Reuters/Clodagh Kilcoyne

The Tunisian then deployed her much-feared weapon, plopping drop shots over the net with Haddad Maia quickly going 4-1 down.

Jabeur served out the first set a little later with the left-hander sending a forehand wide on the first set point.

Both players held serve without conceding a single break point until 5-5 when Jabeur went 40-15 up on Haddad Maia's serve but failed to convert either.

Her opponent also wasted a chance in the next game but levelled after winning the tie-break.

She then raced to a 5-1 lead with Jabeur sending an easy forehand long on her opponent's first match point.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.