Jabeur set to make history as the first Arab player to reach the Top 10

The BNP Paribas Open semi-finals in Indian Wells have been set. Ons Jabeur and Paula Badosa secured their spots in the semi-finals in the top half of the draw on Thursday.

Victoria Azarenka and Jelena Ostapenko advanced to the semi-finals earlier on Wednesday.

In their last-eight match, the 12th-seeded Tunisian overcame the 18th-seeded Anett Kontaveit 7-5, 6-3 in an hour and 26 minutes.

This is Jabeur’s first appearance in the semi-finals of a WTA 1000 event. With this victory, Jabeur became the first Arab player to crack the top ten rankings, and she moved closer to make her debut in the year-end championships in Guadalajara, Mexico.

“Top 10 I know is the beginning. I know I deserve this place from a long time since I was playing well,” Jabeur said according to reports on Give Me Sport.

“But I want to prove that I deserve to be here, I deserve to be one of the Top 10 players.

Tunisian-Ons-Jabeur-finally-in-the-top-100-female-tennis-players.jpg (800×500)
Ons Jabeur. Source: moroccanladies.com

“There is a lot of things that I need to improve. I’m very happy, a lot of emotions right now, but I’m still in competition so I’m trying to calm down and not overthink about Top 10.

“Probably will celebrate after the tournament.

“I just believed in myself, I worked hard, and this is just the beginning of great things.”

Victoria Azarenka, a former champion, goes back in time

Meanwhile, Jabeur’s semi-final opponent, 21st seed Badosa, beat 10th seed Angelique Kerber 6-4, 7-5 in an hour and 26 minutes in the quarter-finals.

Badosa won 20 games and made 22 unforced errors, while Kerber won 20 games and made 29 unforced errors.

She became the first Spaniard to reach the penultimate round of the competition since Conchita Martinez did so in 2003.

Badosa, on the other hand, will be looking to improve on Martinez’s loss to eventual champion Kim Clijsters.

In the bottom half of the draw, Azarenka, a two-time winner, stopped the run of Jessica Pegula, the 19th seed, in the quarter-final.

In an hour and 34 minutes, the 27th-seeded Belarusian won 6-4, 6-2. This is also the first time the former world number one has made it this far in the Californian desert since 2016.

Jelena Ostapenko, Azarenka’s semi-final opponent, beat Shelby Rogers 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in two hours and 15 minutes.

This is the first time the Latvians have advanced to the semi-finals in Indian Wells. In addition, the 2017 French Open champion is attempting to reach the BNP Paribas Open final for the first time in her career, as well as her third WTA final of the season.

Read More: Ons Jabeur confident hardwork will soon be rewarded following defeat to Muguruza in final

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