In a Wimbledon meeting between good friends and first-time Grand Slam semifinalists, Ons Jabeur of Tunisia overcame a second-set slump to beat Tatjana Maria of Germany 6-2 3-6 6-1 and became the first African woman in the Open Era to reach a major final.
The third-seeded Jabeur, occupying a career-high ranking of No.2, comfortably won the first set with a double break lead. The opening game was the most competitive, as Maria managed to hold serve after five deuces and more than eight minutes of play.
The unseeded Maria, the first mother of two to appear in Wimbledon semifinals since Margaret Court in 1975, earned and converted her first break point to go 3-1 up in the second set as Jabeur netted a forehand. The German consolidated the break and stayed strong to force the third set, but then her ability to fight started to diminish, as Jabeur absolutely dominated the final set.
The world No.103 Maria will have only the best memories from this year’s Wimbledon. Even though she’s a mom who gave birth to her second child just 15 months ago, Maria managed to record her best result at a Grand Slam, having never previously progressed past the third round. This fortnight in London, she saved two match points against Jelena Ostapenko in the fourth round and recovered from 4-2 down in the final set against Jule Niemeier in the quarterfinals.
Over the past two seasons, Jabeur has won 84 matches, more than any other player on the Hologic WTA Tour.
Jabeur’s opponent in the Wimbledon final will be Elena Rybakina, who defeated Simona Halep in straight sets later on Thursday.