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By Erik Gudris | Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Venus Williams

Ons Jabeur reached the Wimbledon third round over former five time champion Venus Wimbledon..

At Wimbledon, some players seek to achieve a career best at the event. While others are just pleased to keep competing in the sport that they love.

Tennis Express

That was definitely the case in an intriguing first-time meeting between Ons Jabeur and five-time champion and all-time great Venus Williams.

No. 21 seed Jabeur prevailed 7-5, 6-0 in a second-round meeting on Court No.1 that featured plenty of great shotmaking, especially in the first set. “It's not easy to play someone like Venus, and it was quite an experience for me,” Jabeur said afterwards. “Actually I couldn't do my shots, which was a little bit complicated at the beginning, but then after, at the end, I tried to stay focused and just play my game. It was great at the end, especially.”

Jabeur now finds herself in the third round of Wimbledon for the first time in her career. For the 41-year-old Williams, the loss did not signal any shift in her desire to continue her legendary career, despite the fact that she now carries a ranking of 111 and has not reached a major final since Wimbledon four years ago.

Jabeur and Williams found themselves in a very close first set in their first ever meeting. Williams proved effective with her serve and forehand. Jabeur showed off her all-court play, especially her touch, that led her recently to her first ever tour title in Birmingham a week earlier.

With that win, Jabeur became the first Arab woman to ever win a WTA singles title.

After Jabeur secured the first set, she elevated her game in the second set. Williams, true to form, never threw in the towel but found her groundstrokes and court coverage lacking when she needed it most as Jabeur pulled away.

26-year-old Jabeur opened up a double service break lead midway through the second set and never looked back. On match point, Williams sent a backhand well long to give her opponent the straight sets victory.

After the match, Williams was asked if she plans to return to Wimbledon next year and if she has anything left to prove in her career.

“I don't think anyone in life has anything to prove, you know. Each and every person can only breathe for themselves. No one else can breathe for you. No one has anything to prove to anyone in this life. The only thing you have to do is pay your taxes or else you're going to jail.”

Could this 23rd appearance at the All England Club be Williams’ last?

“Yeah, when it’s my last, I’ll let you know,” she said. “I’ll give you a little whisper in your ear.”

Another Former Champion Next for Jabeur

Next up for Jabeur is an intriguing third round meeting with former champion and No. 11 seed Garbiñe Muguruza, who roughed up Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove of the Netherlands, 6-1, 6-4 on Day 3.

Muguruza has reached at least the final in the two previous times she has passed round two at Wimbledon, and Jabeur knows she’ll have her hands full once again.

“I think she plays amazing on grass; she's always down and likes to play every ball hard,” Jabeur said about the match. “It's going to be an interesting match. For me, I'm just gonna try to do everything possible and obviously try to play my game, because I know it could bother her.”


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