Ons Jabeur storms into French Open quarter-finals for first time

Tunisian eases past American Bernarda Pera in straight sets

Ons Jabeur of Tunisia celebrates defeating Bernarda Pera in the French Open fourth round. Getty
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Ons Jabeur eased into the French Open quarter-finals for the first time on Monday with a 6-3, 6-1 win over American Bernarda Pera.

Jabeur is slowly working her way back to her best after the Tunisian world No 7 had minor knee surgery earlier in the year and skipped the Madrid Open due to a calf problem following her run to the Charleston crown.

The 28-year-old breezed to a 4-1 lead in the opening set and closed it out in 35 minutes with her fifth break of serve.

Pera had beaten Jabeur in their last meeting on the hard courts of Guangzhou in 2019 but the left-hander struggled to cope with her opponent's clay prowess and also made things tough for herself with errors.

Jabeur tightened her grip on the contest in the next set to close out victory in just over an hour.

The Tunisian is eyeing a first Grand Slam title after falling short in the Wimbledon and US Open finals last year.

Jabeur did struggle with her serve but managed to save eight of the 12 break points she faced.

“She put a lot of pressure on my service," Jabeur said. "I'm pleased that I was able to win my service games when I needed to. Hopefully, I'll return well and serve better in my next match.”

"Winning here will definitely be an amazing memory for me. For now, I just want to take it one match at a time," Jabeur added.

"I will have a very difficult quarter-final. I was just taking it one match at a time, trying to make it to the second week. Now I'm going to push more for the next few matches."

Meanwhile, last year's runner-up Casper Ruud fought his way into the quarter-finals after a tense battle with Chile's Nicolas Jarry, prevailing 7-5(3), 7-5, 7-5.

The fourth seed struggled to keep things under control against claycourt specialist Jarry, who led in the last two sets but could not convert.

"If we had gone five sets I don't know how long we would have played," said Ruud on court Philippe Chatrier.

"I have to thank my team for pushing me in practice. I did the work and physically I was ready for more."

Earlier, Daria Kasatkina hit out at the French Open crowd after she was booed off court after her defeat by Elina Svitolina.

Knowing Ukrainian players' stance of not shaking hands with Russian or Belarusian opponents at the end of matches, Kasatkina gave Svitolina a thumbs up, which was reciprocated, before walking to her chair.

Some of the fans on Suzanne Lenglen then responded by booing the Russian as she walked off court.

Kasatkina wrote on Twitter: "Leaving Paris with a very bitter feeling.

"All [these] days, after every match I've played in Paris I always appreciate and thanked the crowd for support and being there for the players. But yesterday I was booed for just being respectful on my opponent's position not to shake hands.

"Me and Elina showed respect to each other after a tough match but leaving the court like that was the worst part of yesterday.

"Be better, love each other. Don't spread hate. Try to make this world better. I will love RG no matter what, always and forever. See u next year."

Updated: June 05, 2023, 2:39 PM