Ons Jabeur hands rivals an ominous warning after latest straight-sets win


Ons Jabeur breezed through her latest match at Wimbledon to book a place in the fourth round and warned her rivals more is to come.

A 6-2 6-3 win over Diane Parry in 68 minutes was the longest amount of time the Tunisian had spent on court at the All England Club this summer but still means she has only played just over three hours in SW19 so far.

The third seed was in superb touch against her French opponent and showed her full repertoire of tricks on Centre Court with several trademark drop shots able to help her into the last-16.

Elise Mertens, who downed former Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber 6-4 7-5, stands between Jabeur and a place in the quarter-finals.

But Jabeur, one of the favourites for the title, insisted: “Hopefully I will be even better for the next matches.

“I am playing the tennis that I love to see. Obviously there’s a few things to improve and I want to be challenged for the next round, for sure, and see how I handle that pressure.

“For me, sometimes I start playing not so good. I feel like at the end of the tournament I start playing better and better. When I get more matches and I get used to the courts, to the environment here, I think I start to play better.”

After racing through her opening two matches with Mirjam Bjorklund and Katarzyna Kawa, a similar pattern emerged in this third-round tie after Jabeur broke three times in the first set.

I am playing the tennis that I love to see. Obviously there’s a few things to improve and I want to be challenged for the next round, for sure, and see how I handle that pressure.

Ons Jabeur

Teenager Parry did eventually get on the board and avoid the bagel with 31 minutes played but a 108mph ace down the middle sealed the opener for the well-backed number three seed.

Jabeur then recorded 14 points in a row at the conclusion of the second set to secure an eighth consecutive victory on grass.

Mum-of-two Tatjana Maria provided the big shock on day five by knocking out Maria Sakkari.

Fifth seed Sakkari had beaten the German at the Australian Open in January but suffered a 6-3 7-5 loss in one hour and 30 minutes on Court Two.

It secured world number 103 Maria a maiden appearance in the fourth round of a grand slam.

“I’m the first time in the last 16, so that’s already amazing, and to win against Sakkari today, yeah, it’s pretty awesome,” she added.

Maria will next take on Jelena Ostapenko, who beat the German and her partner Oceane Dodin in the women’s doubles on Thursday.

Twelfth seed Ostapenko was the first woman into the fourth round but needed three sets to get the better of Irina Begu 3-6 6-1 6-1.

Jule Niemeier also progressed and in the process ended the run of Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko.

In a match where a total of 21 breaks occurred, it was the German who edged through 6-4 3-6 6-3.

Tsurenko, who wore a blue and yellow ribbon in support of Ukraine and will send £12,000 of her prize money back to her home country to help with the war, admitted: “A few days like that happened to me feeling nervous with no reason.

Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko lost in the third round to Jule Niemeier (Alberto Pezzali/AP/PA)


“Let’s say, I mean, no reason, no real reason. I know that there is a war at home, and I think it’s just makes me too nervous sometimes. It’s definitely affecting, but probably I was just not able to separate today.”

Niemeier’s opponent for a place in the quarter-finals will be Britain’s Heather Watson after she opened up Court One with a 7-6 (6) 6-2 success over Kaja Juvan.

It sent the home favourite through to the fourth round of a grand slam for the first time.

The 30-year-old had been 5-0 up but was broken when she had the chance to serve for the match before she eventually got the job done.

“It wouldn’t be me if there wasn’t a bit of drama at the end,” Watson said. “It means everything playing here at home in front of you guys.”

Marie Bouzkova took out her third American in a row to continue her best grand-slam run going.

Czech ace Bouzkova won 6-2 6-3 against 28th seed Alison Riske and will take on Carolina Garcia in the last 16.

Garcia, who beat Emma Raducanu in round two, edged out Zhang Shuai 7-6 (3) 7-6 (5) despite requiring a medical time-out during the third-round tie.

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