Tuesday August 9, 2022

On Monday, Ons Jabeur reached a new career-high of no. 2 in the WTA singles rankings, becoming the first player from Africa to notch the milestone. The Tunisian celebrated the achievement by winning her first-round match at Wimbledon, beating Swedish qualifier, Mirjam Bjorklund, 6-1, 6-3.

Jabeur wrapped up the match in just 54 minutes. Despite the one-sided score-line, neither player looked all too comfortable throughout the proceedings. The match featured multiple errors flying off the racquets of both players and it were these that determined the course of the proceedings.

Winners came by but they were few in number, interspersed among the liberally-strewn around errors. In fact, in the opening game of the match, there was just one winner that Jabeur hit on break point, on Bjorklund’s serve.

Regardless, it was the higher-ranked player who was able to exert relatively more control over the match – both on serve and return. Jabeur won 81% of her first-serve points to her 125th-ranked opponent’s 63%. Likewise, while Jabeur won 85% of her second-serve points, she also won 78% of second-serve return points.

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The 27-year-old finished with 14 unforced errors to 11 winners but Bjorklund’s negative tally of 20 unforced errors to three winners ensured that Jabeur remained ahead in the match. The only time Jabeur’s serve came under trouble was in the seventh game of the second set when she faced a couple of break points.

But she was able to stave them off without much fuss.

Wimbledon: Emma Raducanu begins her quest

In the second round, Jabeur will play Polish qualifier, Katarzyna Kawa. Kawa defeated Canadian Rebecca Marino, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 in their first-round match.

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Marino served for the match in the 10th game but was broken by the Pole who then went on to win the last two games to win the contest. Meanwhile, British favourite, Emma Raducanu came through a tight straight-sets match against Alison Van Uytvanck in her first-round match at Wimbledon.

The 10th seed won 6-4, 6-4 in an hour and 40 minutes. Raducanu broke the Belgian in the seventh game of the opening set but promptly handed the break back. In the ninth game, the 2021 US Open winner secured a second break and went on to consolidate the break by taking the set.

In the second set, Van Uytvanck broke Raducanu in the fourth game to lead 3-1 but wasn’t able to consolidate the break. Raducanu got her chance to move ahead in the set in the ninth game with a break and as in the previous set, consolidated the break by taking the second set and the match, on her first match point.

Raducanu will play either Caroline Garcia or fellow Briton, wildcard, Yuriko Miyazaki next.

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