Ons Jabeur reached a career milestone by advancing into her maiden Grand Slam semifinal. She’s one win away from another major milestone in her career – a first-ever Grand Slam final.
Before the 27-year-old Tunisian can look toward the final at the All England Club and realize her dream of becoming a Wimbledon champion, she’ll face unlikely semifinalist Tatjana Maria, who is also through to the final four for the first time in her career.
So, who will win this fascinating contest? Will Jabeur come through as the firm favorite? Or will Maria, at 34 years of age and a mother of two, deliver the massive upset.
Read on as we preview this semifinal matchup between Jabeur and Maria, set to get underway on Thursday morning. We’ll bring you the latest tennis news, stats, injury reports and tennis odds for this fascinating women’s showdown, along with tennis picks and predictions for you to consider.
Wimbledon Women’s Outrights
- Simona Halep +100
- Ons Jabeur +120
- Elena Rybakina +600
- Tatjana Maria +3300
Jabeur on Cusp of Wimbledon Final
Ons Jabeur punched her ticket to her first Grand Slam semifinal with a three-set win over Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic. Jabeur dropped the first set 3-6, but stormed back to win 6-1, 6-1 in the ensuing two sets.
It was the first time in the tournament that Jabeur lost a set. That’s a credit to Bouzkova. Perhaps, even, some nerves on the day. Then, Jabeur was bidding to reach this personal milestone of a Grand Slam semifinal.
Grand Slam success has been a long time coming for the Tunisian, who turns 28 in August. She’s been a player to watch for some years. But not until recently has it all come together for her on the game’s biggest stages.
In the last two seasons, Jabeur propelled her game to new heights and, with it, her ranking soared. She’s now the No. 2 player in the world.
Tunisian third seed Ons Jabeur, the highest surviving seed in the women’s draw, hopes to become the first woman from Africa to win a major as she reaches her maiden Grand Slam semi-final https://t.co/JD8iY7eD5C pic.twitter.com/4tZLRs5g9S
— Reuters (@Reuters) July 6, 2022
Maria’s Cinderella Run
Tatjana Maria knows only too well how difficult it is to enjoy any kind of success on the WTA Tour, let alone the Grand Slams.
The 34-year-old German and mother of two has been grafting for almost two decades, since turning pro in 2001. To her credit, she has two singles titles and four doubles title.
Maria came into Wimbledon ranked No. 103 in the world. It’s fair to say, few saw her fairytale run into the semifinals coming. Why would they? She’d never been beyond the second round of a Grand Slam before.
And yet, here she is. In the penultimate round of a Grand Slam and on the verge of a potential final. Maria defeated Julia Niemeier in a three-set marathon, coming back from a set down to win 4-6, 6-2, 7-5.
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) July 5, 2022
Jabeur vs Maria Head-to-Head
Jabeur and Maria have met three times with the former boasting a 2-1 head-to-head edge. The last time they met was in 2018, when Jabeur defeated Maria in straight sets at the Beijing Olympics qualifying, 6-4, 6-1.
Jabeur also beat Maria at the 2014 U.S. Open, coming back from a set down to win 0-6, 7-5, 7-6 (4). Maria’s lone victory came in Linz (2017) when she took the 6-1, 6-4 win.
Jabeur vs Maria Betting Verdict
Considering what is at stake, it is going to be a tough match for both players. It’s not every day one reaches the semifinal of a Grand Slam, never mind the final.
In many cases, a Grand Slam final is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity because getting to it requires beating six of the world’s best players in succession. To win it, requires beating seven players.
That might not sound like a lot, initially. But when you think about: How many one-hit wonders are there in the game? The answer: quite a few.
Another dimension to this matchup is the friendship between Jabeur and Maria. According to the Tunisian, they are very good friends. This is bound to make it emotionally challenging as well as physically.
Nevertheless, according to the tennis betting markets, Jabeur is the firm favorite to win. She’s priced at -750 on the moneyline. Maria, by contrast, is priced at +550.
The game’s handicap is set to 6 with Maria favored to cover. The total is projected to 19.
To look at all these markets together, one gets the impression that the bookmakers are projecting a straightforward and lopsided win for Jabeur.
If Jabeur plays up to her abilities, she should indeed come through on market expectations. That said, with the pressure resting almost exclusively on her shoulders, there are bound to be nerves.