Ons Jabeur defeats Ekaterina Alexandrova, becomes first African player to reach WTA 1000 final in Madrid

Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur has become the first African player to reach the final of any WTA 1000 event at the Madrid Open.

The world No. 10 defeated Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-2 6-3 on Thursday in their semi-final, with Alexandrova competing under a neutral flag following the ban on Russian representation due to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

In their eighth meeting it proved to be just the second win for Jabeur, and she said after the win she was delighted to grab a rare victory.

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“I felt like I was sick of losing against her all the time, so I came here to take my revenge,” Jabeur explained.

“I feel like this tournament is a revenge tournament, every match. I’m very glad with my performance. I know she plays really well, so I tried to really impose my rhythm.

“I’m very happy with the level I played.”

Jabeur broke Alexandrova four times in a dominant display, needing 61 minutes to complete victory in Spain. She had reached the semis after defeating Simona Halep in the quarter-final.

The 27-year-old has one trophy to her name, a WTA 250 win in Birmingham last year.

She will come up against Jessica Pegula, who overcame Switzerland’s Jil Teichmann 6-3, 6-4.

“[Teichmann is] a super tricky lefty,” Pegula said after her win.

“It was hard because I felt like I couldn’t get a rhythm, really. Maybe the start of the first set she came out a little nervous and I was able to come out strong, which helped, but it was just tricky today. “

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