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Jabeur wins 8th straight match; Putintseva upsets Muguruza in Rome

Ons Jabeur of Tunisia kept her winning streak alive with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic in the second round of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia on Wednesday.

No.9 seed Jabeur has won eight consecutive matches. She has followed up her run to the Madrid title last week with two more wins in Rome so far, including her 1-hour and 31-minute win over 41st-ranked Tomljanovic.

Jabeur will meet Yulia Putintseva in the Round of 16 on Thursday. Putintseva claimed a 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-1 comeback upset of No.8 seed Garbiñe Muguruza.

Ons on fire: Jabeur is this season’s clay-court match-win leader to date, with 14 victories on the dirt in 2022. Six of those came at the Mutua Madrid Open, where Jabeur captured her first WTA 1000 title.

Champions Corner: With an assist from her ‘animal friends,’ Jabeur comes up big in Madrid

“I think for me the most important thing is mentally that I have to be ready and physically,” Jabeur said afterward. “I know I have it in me. I just have to believe even more that I can do it. It’s a different step for me so I’m trying to adapt as much as I can. I’m just trying to go 100 percent and see what’s going to happen.”

Rome: Jabeur notches 8th straight win by defeating Tomljanovic

2022 Rome

Jabeur was 5-3 down in the first set against Tomljanovic, but she reeled off four games in a row to take the opener, then eased through the second set against the Aussie. Jabeur converted five of her 14 break points in the match.

“It’s never easy to play Ajla,” Jabeur said. “I knew it was going to be a physical match. I adapted from 5-3 because I was really hitting hard, but not winning. I was more defending at certain times and not playing as hard as I was playing from the beginning.”

Putintseva upsets Muguruza: World No.40 Putintseva will be Jabeur’s next opponent after the Kazakh steered her way to a come-from-behind win over Spain’s Muguruza.

Putintseva, who came through qualifying this week, has now won her last two meetings with former World No.1 Muguruza, leveling their head-to-head at two wins apiece.

‘I’m like a gangster on court, but an angel off court’: Putintseva opens up

Leading by a set and 5-4, Muguruza had a chance to serve out a two-set win, and was two points away from victory up 30-0. However, untimely errors by Muguruza allowed Putintseva to sweep four points in a row and grab the service break for 5-5.

Putintseva cruised through the second-set tiebreak and the final set to earn her ninth Top 10 win and reach the Round of 16 in Rome for the second time in her career.

Round-of-16 showdown: Jabeur has won both of her previous matches against Putintseva. In their most recent meeting, Jabeur knocked Putintseva out in the first round of last year’s Roland Garros.

“Putintseva is really a difficult match,” said Jabeur. “I know she can hit different kind of balls. Suits really well the clay courts. I’m just going to go there and play my game and keep it as short as possible.”

More to come…




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