Ons Jabeur celebrates new world ranking high with easy win in first round of Wimbledon

Tunisian third seed makes short work of Mirjam Bjorklund securing 6-1, 6-3 win at All England Club on Monday

Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Ons Jabeur continued her red-hot form this season with a straight-sets victory over Mirjam Bjorklund in the first round of Wimbledon on Monday.

The Tunisian third seed swept past her Swedish opponent in just 53 minutes clinching a 6-1, 6-3 victory on Court One at the All England Club.

Jabeur, a quarter-finalist last year, served strongly and dominated from the baseline against the 125th-ranked qualifier who was making her debut at the grass-court Grand Slam.

The Tunisian broke Bjorklund's serve three times to take the opening set and a single break was enough in the second for Jabeur to seal victory.

Jabeur converted her first match point when Bjorklund sent a backhand long and the Tunisian will next meet Canadian Rebecca Marino or qualifier Katarzyna Kawa of Poland for a place in the third round.

"It is a great start for me and I want to go as far as I can in this tournament," Jabeur said.

"Today I achieved my highest ranking. It is really amazing to be here, back in Wimbledon on one of the surfaces I really like.

"One of the reasons I love to play here is the crowd. No matter what the ranking is they always support me."

There is no stopping the rise of Jabeur at the moment with the 27-year-old now up to a career-best No 2 in the world behind the only player showing even more impressive form than her – the Polish win machine Iga Swiatek.

Jabeur became the first African and first Arab player to win a WTA 1000 event at the Madrid Open in May and then clinched victory at the Berlin Open – her first title on grass – earlier this month

Before her match on Monday, Jabeur revealed how playing doubles with 23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams had given her "added confidence" going into Wimbledon.

The pair teamed up at Eastbourne last week, winning through two rounds before being forced to drop out at the semi-final stage when Jabeur picked up a knee injury.

But the 40-year-old American and 27-year-old Tunisian struck an instant rapport, with Williams describing their partnership team name as "Onserena" after victory in the quarter-finals.

"If she sees me as a great player and looks at me in that way then I can see myself that way, too," Jabeur wrote in a column for BBC Sport.

"I always had the dream of practising or playing against Serena but I never imagined the fact I could play doubles with her and be on the same side of the court.

"I could not imagine being able to see first-hand how a legend – one of the GOATs – reacts on court and talks to herself.

"She kept pushing me forward too. If I chose to serve to a spot she would say 'great choice'. She confirmed my choice of serve and gave me that confidence to serve better.

"The whole experience means I feel like I am the luckiest player in the world."

Updated: June 27, 2022, 2:44 PM
NEWSLETTERS
MORE FROM THE NATIONAL