Meanwhile, look who’s practicing…
Jabeur* 6-2, 2-5 Maria (*indicates next server)
Maria is now in a rhythm when serving and gaining confidence after that first set, while Jabeur’s level has dropped a bit.
Maria is a game away from forcing a final set.
Jabeur 6-2, 2-4 Maria* (*indicates next server)
A better service game from Jabeur as she races to 40-0. She then puts a forehand long.
NO LOOK DROP BY JABEUR TO KEEP. She is a joy to watch.
Jabeur* 6-2, 1-4 Maria (*indicates next server)
The contrasting style on display compared to the usual brawls we see is amazing to watch.
And the crowd loves it, as Jabeur makes the deuce with a brilliantly cut forehand winner dodging Maria’s racket. Amazing racket head control.
Nevertheless, Maria Jabeurs’s genius survives to consolidate the rift.
Jabeur 6-2, 1-3 Maria* (*indicates next server)
Bad hit drop shot by Jabeur, 15-30. She responds with an initial service that is not returned. Jabeur forehand misses the sideline and falls into the tram lines, breaking point.
And Maria does break when Jabeur cuts a forehand into the net. Game on?
Jabeur* 6-2, 1-2 Maria (*indicates next server)
A double fault by Maria gives Jabeur two break points, 15-40. Maria saves the first with a volley winner.
And the second when Jabeur narrowly misses with a forehand on the line, deuce.
Another very nice rally between the two players sees Jabeur go on the attack, but Maria holds herself in the point and Jabeur ends up putting in a forehand.
Maria holds on to her serve as Jabeur puts a backhand wide.
Jabeur 6-2, 1-1 Maria* (*indicates next server)
Frustration for Maria when she takes a forehand that would have given her a breakpoint.
Nice angulated backhand from Jabeur pushes Maria wide, leaving a simple volley winner for Jabeur.
Second set: Jabeur* 6-2, 0-1 Maria (*indicates next server)
Better service game from Maria as she has 15 when Jabeur backhands.
Jabeur 6-2 Maria* (*indicates next server)
Ace of Jabeur, 30-0. Maria cuts a backhand long, 40-0. And she takes the set when Maria makes another mistake.
Jabeur* 5-2 Maria (*indicates next server)
Scorching forehand winner down the line by Maria.
What a point – Maria hits a forehand pass on the field, Jabeur closes the net and hits a frenzied backhand volley off her feet that just crawl over it and do a 360 spin. Maria miraculously gets to the ball and throws a backhand net over the net and Jabeur should have an easy put but she makes the nets, 15-15
Maria forehand wide, breaking point. Double break for Jabeur when she hit a pass down the line and Maria couldn’t control her volley.
Jabeur 4-2 Maria* (*indicates next server)
A forehand from Jabeur flies long, 30-30. Jabeur gets a short ball from Maria and finishes the point well with a forehand winner, 40-30.
And then a backhand winner to seal the game.
I wonder why he is smiling?!
Jabeur* 3-2 Maria (*indicates next server)
Another great duel in the forecourt between two players and Jabeur wins it with an overhead winner, 15-30.
Maria responds with a short cut backhand and Jabeur nets, 40-30. Maria cuts a backhand long, deuce.
Another tough service game for Maria, but she holds up if Jabeur’s return is long.
Jabeur 3-1 Maria* (*indicates next server)
Back-to-back unforced fouls by Jabeur, 0-30. Maria pushes Jabeur deep with a forehand, but the Tunisian replies with another finely beaten drop shot.
Another cat-and-mouse point in which Jabeur comes out on top, 40-30. We go to deuce when Jabeurs goes backhand wide.
The two players go toe-to-toe with slashed backhands before Jabeur exchanges it with a backhand down the line that Maria can’t get back into play.
Jabeur* 2-1 Maria (*indicates next server)
Delicate forehand dropshot by Jabeur and Maria Nets, 30-30. Point of the match sees Jabeur take the lead after a defensive lob and she earns a breakpoint with a forehand winner.
Maria saves another breakpoint as Jabeur makes a backhand. Second breaking point for Jabeur after a double foul by Maria.
And Jabeur does get the break though as Maria tam nets a forehand.
Jabeur 1-1 Maria* (*indicates the next server)
After a long break for Maria in the opening game, Jabeur seems to have no problem with that as she moves up to 40-0.
But a forehand error somewhat opens the door for Maria to come back, 40-30. But Jabeur holds up as Maria backhands.
First set: Ons Jabeur* 0-1 Tatjana Maria (*indicates the next server)
First sign of Jabeur’s flair as she hits a drop shot return, winner of Maria’s second serve, 15-15.
Maria hits a slashed approach shot into the net, breaking point. Drop volley from Maria reaching Jabeur, but she can’t get the call over the net.
Breaking point for Jabeur again as she steps inside the baseline and hits a nice inside out forehand. Maria responds with a volley winner after an aggressive rally.
Another breaking point for Jabeur when Maria’s slashed backhand goes long. Maria finds her first serve and Jabeur nets.
After eight minutes, Maria finally holds her own in the opening play when Jabeur puts in a long forehand.
Here we go…
… the players’ first sighting as they walk through the Center Court corridors, down the stairs and finally onto the field where they are both warmly welcomed.
In the meantime…
…doubts remain about Rafael Nadal’s entry into the tournament.
Nadal was supposed to train at 12:30 p.m. but did not arrive on track. He was later seen arriving at Wimbledon and going through security.
He will receive a scan of his abdominal injury and it remains to be seen whether he can play his semifinal against Nick Kyrgios on Friday.
What happened the last time they met?
The last time Ons Jabeur and Tatjana Maria met on Tour was in the second qualifying round in Beijing in 2018.
At the time, Jabeur, who had a 6-4 6-1 winner, was at number 116
Listen to the latest episode of the Tennis Podcast
Jabeur and Maria: Two great friends
Big day in store at Wimbledon today as we enter the women’s semi-finals.
I will report to you about the first scheduled match between Ons Jabeur and Tatjana Maria. Jabeur is the highest remaining in the draw and is aiming to reach a grand slam final for the first time.
She said: “I am usually impatient and want the results right away. I didn’t think I’d take my time, you know. But it’s good that I took my time, because it helped me understand a lot of things.
“I honestly expected to do better after juniors because I was one of the good ones and saw other players my age do better and I wasn’t there. I was a little jealous. I was patient.
“You know, everything happens for a reason, and I believe I deserve to be here this year, you know.”
For Maria, she made history as the first mother of two to reach the semifinals of a major in singles.
She said: “I think the most important thing in my life is to be a mother to my two children. Nothing will change this. I’m here, yes, I’m in the Wimbledon semi-final, it’s crazy, but I’m still a mother, after this I go and see my kids and do the same thing I do every day.
“I’ll change her Pampers, I mean everything normal. I try to stay normal as much as possible because that’s what I’m most proud of is being a mom. I think there are a lot of people who never believed I was coming This was already after Charlotte and when I changed my backhand I think there were also a lot of people during this time that nobody thought: Okay, she’s back with a kid now, but it’s not impossible to get back are in the top 100.
“And, yes, to be honest, I already showed last time that I’m back. I mean, I made it to the top 50 with Charlotte, and now I’m back with my second child. Still, everyone doubted.
“I mean, you know, I mean, it’s kind of my life to show everyone that I’m still here and a fighter, and I keep going and I keep dreaming. That’s what I want to show my kids .”