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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday May 14, 2022

Ons Jabeur

Ons Jabeur saved a match point and edged Daria Kasatkina at Rome to notch her eleventh consecutive win.

Photo Source: Getty

Fresh off the biggest title of her career, Tunisia's Ons Jabeur is angling for another. The Madrid champion stretched her career-best winning streak to 11 matches on Saturday in Rome with a death-defying 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 triumph over Daria Kasatkina to set a final with Iga Swiatek on Sunday.

Tennis Express

Jabeur saved a match point with Kasatkina serving at 5-4 in the third set, rifling a daring forehand winner and then reeling off the final three games to claim her 25th match victory of the season. Jabeur improves her record on clay to 17-2 this season, with her only losses coming to Belinda Bencic in the Charleston final and Paula Badosa in the quarterfinals at Rome.

Jabeur failed to convert her first seven break points of the final set, but broke through for 4-2 with a forehand winner. Kasatkina won the next three games, however, and even had her match point serving at 4-5.

27-year-old Jabeur improves to 10-3 in three-setters this year – she owns a 2-1 lifetime record against Swiatek, but the pair have not met in 2022 and they have never met on clay.

Jabeur, who became the first Arab woman and first African to win a 1000-level title at Madrid, can make her Top-5 debut with a win in Sunday’s final. She owns a 2-4 lifetime record in WTA finals.

After her win on Friday over No.4-seeded Maria Sakkari, Jabeur said that having the physical and mental strength to back up her Madrid title was extremely important to her.

"To back up the performance from Madrid, it's very important for me," she said. "Like I said, it's one of the reasons why I'm here, why I want to continue showing myself on the court. It's part of maybe the journey. I told you I want to win a Grand Slam, so maybe I have to go through this to be able to win one Grand Slam. For now I'm doing it right. Different test from each match. Hopefully I can still continue."

Jabeur is bidding to become the third player in history to win Madrid and Rome in the same season. If she accomplishes the feat against Swiatek she will join Dinara Safina (2009) and Serena Williams (2013) on the list.

Swiatek stretched her winning streak to 27 earlier on Saturday, easing past No.3-seeded Aryna Sabalenka, 6-2, 6-1. The 20-year-old World No.1 has lost just 17 games through her four wins this week at Rome. She owns the longest winning streak on the WTA Tour since Serena Williams won 27 on the trot in 2015.

More to follow…


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