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Tennis-After French Open exit, Jabeur shifts focus to winning Wimbledon


By Karolos Grohmann

PARIS (Reuters) – World number seven Ons Jabeur did not dwell on Wednesday’s French Open quarter-final loss to Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia, setting her sights on her next goal – winning Wimbledon.

Runner-up in London last year, Jabeur was beaten 3-6 7-6(5) 6-1 by Haddad Maia 3-6 7-6(5) 6-1 to end her hopes of becoming the first African woman to win a Grand Slam singles title.

She was bidding to reach her third major semi-final in less than a year after making the finals at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in 2022.

“I’m hoping to go and get the title really in Wimbledon,” Jabeur told reporters. “I’m dreaming about it. It’s something that I always wanted.”

“Last year was unfortunate because I was very close,” she said. “When I put something in my mind, I know I can do it, so it’s definitely here. Grass season already started in my head.”

She had looked to be on track for a last-four spot after comfortably winning the first set but could not break her opponent in the second and Haddad Maia clinched the tiebreaker before running away with the decider.

Jabeur has had a stop-start season in which she had knee surgery before winning the title in Charleston and skipping the Madrid Open with a calf problem.

“I didn’t have much time to prepare for especially clay season because it’s more physical than any other surface,” said the 28-year-old.

“I’m feeling okay. I think I rushed my way back on tour, but that’s because I wanted to be ready for the French Open,” she said.

“Like all the training and the physical training, maybe I didn’t have enough time to prepare for that, but I did my maximum. I did what I could do in a short time period.”

Jabeur will kick off her grass season with tournaments in Berlin and Eastbourne.

“For now I think I’m going to have the same schedule. Berlin, Eastbourne. Maybe Venus (Williams) wants to play doubles there. I’m not sure. She didn’t ask me yet. Then Wimbledon. Just trying to play as many matches as I can,” she said.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Ed Osmond)

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