Playing together for the first time, Serena Williams and Ons Jabeur are through to the semi-final in Eastbourne. Serena and Ons toppled Shuko Aoyama and Hao-Ching Chan 6-2, 6-4 in 65 minutes for a place in the last four, moving two victories away from the trophy.
Williams and Jabeur had to dig deep in the opening clash against Marie Bouzkova and Sara Sorribes Tormo, prevailing in the match tie break after fending off a match point. They played much better on Wednesday, serving well and dominating the crucial moments to emerge at the top in just over an hour.
Serena and Ons barely lost a point behind the initial shot in the opening set, and the pressure was on the other side. Aoyama and Chan earned no less than nine break chances in four consecutive return games in the second set.
They wasted them and got broken at 4-4 to push the rivals in front and hit the exit door.
Serena Williams and Ons Jabeur have remained on the title course in Eastbourne.
Serena held in the encounter’s second game for 1-1, and she and Ons grabbed breaks in games three and five to forge a 5-1 advantage.
Jabeur fired a service winner in game eight to wrap up the first set for her team and gain a boost. Aoyama and Chan had a massive opportunity to introduce a deciding tie break after pushing Serena and Ons to the limits on the return in set number two.
Williams and Jabeur denied all nine break points in four consecutive games to remain in contention. Ons played a brilliant point to secure the crucial break at 4-4, and Serena produced four quick points on serve in game ten to send her team into the last four.
Williams and Jabeur will face Aleksandra Krunic and Magda Linette in the semis, and they should be the favorites if they produce the level from today’s opening set.