There was a parity to Ons Jabeur and Ajla Tomljanovic’s displays at the US Open at Sunday night, and now the pair will face off for a place in the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows.
Both Jabeur and Tomljanovic won first-set tie-breaks before enjoying more comfortable second sets in their respective fourth-round victories.
Jabeur, the first African to reach the last eight in New York since South Africa’s Amanda Coetzer in 1998, beat No. 18 seed Veronika Kudermetova 7-6(1) 6-4.
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“I'm just going to keep fighting and keep pushing and breaking records here,” said Jabeur, the losing Wimbledon finalist now into the US Open quarters for the first time.
Meanwhile, Serena Williams’ conqueror Tomljanovic recorded a 7-6(8) 6-1 win over Liudmila Samsonova on Louis Armstrong Stadium.
“I think my will to go further in this tournament was really strong and I didn't want to stop just after what happened on Friday night,” said Tomljanovic, two days after beating Williams in three sets.
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“I thought I deserved more. I definitely wanted to go for more. I dug deep because I felt like I had more left in me.
“I think a lot of heartbreaks that have happened over a long time, I feel like what goes around comes around moment for me. Especially the long matches that I've lost in the past, now I'm winning them.
“I think for that reason I'm more calm in those moments.”
Tomljanovic played down her prospects of winning the tournament, however, adding: “I'm not going as far as that, but I definitely don't have that feeling that maybe I had last year where I was maybe a little bit satisfied with making the quarters.
“Now I'm obviously happy, first time in US Open quarter-finals, but I'm feeling still really hungry, which I like.”
Tomljanovic sealed her spot in the quarters just before Jabeur, leaving the Tunisian to preview their upcoming encounter.
“I know it’s going to be a physical match,” she said. “She’s going to hit so hard so I have to be ready physically for her. I’m sure it’s going to be a great match.”
Jabeur is the highest remaining seed in the bottom of the women’s draw, and the No. 5 seed was pleased “everything clicked” after recovering from 4-2 down in the first set against Kudermetova to win it in the breaker.
“It was a very difficult match at the beginning. It’s very tough to play her,” said Jabeur.
“It was very frustrating for me, but I had to accept it at the beginning and keep building. At the end, everything just clicked.”
Jabeur leads the head to head 2-0, last beating Tomljanovic 7-5 6-2 in Rome earlier this year.
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