WTA Tour

Tunisian Jabeur nullifies Riske with Dubai opening win

2020-02-17 18:01
Ons Jabeur
Ons Jabeur (Getty Images)

Dubai - Ons Jabeur beat Alison Riske 7-6 (7/3), 1-6, 6-3 on Monday at the Dubai Championships to earn a second-round date with top seed Simona Halep.

The Tunisian who trains in Dubai was encouraged by football-level support from flag-waving Tunisian fans.

"I'm so grateful for the crowd, they really gave me energy. It feels like home here," said Jabeur.

"Alison is tough, she made me run everywhere, I was down in the second set but got it back in the third," added the first Arab woman to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final last month at the Australian Open.

Jabeur lost the first eight points and missed a pair of set points in the 10th game before it went into a tie-breaker.

She led 5-0 in the decider and took the set on her fourth opportunity.

But the momentum shifted in the second set, with Riske taking a 5-0 lead before a Jabeur took a medical time out for blisters.

Barbora Strycova turned a corner after a poor start this season as she defeated US teenager Amanda Anisimova 7-6 (7/3), 2-6, 6-4, winning only her second match of 2020.

The 18-year-old Anisimova managed 43 winners but was weighed down by 67 unforced errors in a struggle lasting just over two-and-a-half hours.

"It wasn't really a great match from both sides, the balls were flying everywhere, it was a struggle to keep them on the court," the 33-year-old Dubai-based Strycova said.

"But I got through the match and I'm happy to be in the second round," the 2016 finalist said of a contest played in the heat of a desert day.

"I like to compete and have the feeling of winning matches," added the 2019 Wimbledon semi-finalist.

Strycova ended with 23 winners and 43 unforced errors and swept five of the last six games to advance.

Belgian four-time Grand Slam winner Kim Clijsters was making a return to tennis later Monday after playing her last WTA match in 2012, with the 36-year-old taking on fellow former major champion Garbine Muguruza.

Read more on:    wta tour  |  dubai championships  |  ons jabeur  |  tennis


Read News24’s Comments Policy


When all is said and done, who of the 'Big 3' in men's tennis ends their career with the most Grand Slams?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2019/20 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.