Back against the wall, Ons Jabeur lifted her game in the most unexpected fashion in order to overcome Daria Kasatkina and reach the final of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia. The Tunisian, who has now an open streak of 11 consecutive successes, had to save a match point in the third set, when her opponent was serving up 5-4. The 9th seed painted the line with a forehand down the line to clear the point and eventually broke with a magnificent dropshot.
“I was thinking about yesterday”, she admitted as just about 24 hours before, she came back from a set and to breaks down on Maria Sakkari: “At 5-4 I was like you came back from a long way, like this is nothing comparing yesterday. You should be able to come back. The main thing for me is to stay calm because I was little bit angry today with myself when you don’t find your way, when you don’t play as great as you expect, that didn’t help me much. The dropshot saved me at 5-All, and the match point”.
On a day when one of her trademark shots, the dropshot, did not work, she still found two of the best ones in the key moments and eventually managed to reach a back-to-back final after the title run in Madrid. Between her and a second consecutive title is standing Iga Swiatek. The pole is also on hot form having not lost a match since February.
“Playing Iga, someone didn’t lost a match since ever?”, told in the press conference the Tunisian: “I think that was maybe missing the other players to believe more that they can beat her. She was playing unbelievable, I believe, in Miami-Indian Wells. Now she’s playing great. But she’s a human being. People should know that. I’m ready for the battle. I want to win tomorrow. It’s the finals. It’s not a first round or second round, it’s the final. Did I tell you how sick I am of losing finals?”
“Tomorrow for me personally, it’s going to be about believing in myself that I can win”, said Jabeur without omitting those energies are running low: “I know I had a lot of matches that are played lately, back-to-back matches. It’s not like playing Indian Wells, Miami, you have a day off and everything. So physically it’s going to be very tough for me. I know that mental could overcome a lot of things”.
The Rome final will take place on Sunday at 1pm local time.