While the women’s draw in general looks to be fairly evenly matched through out, the clash between Iga Swiatek and Ons Jabeur feels like one of the most intriguing. Jabeur is in some of the best form of her career and only getting better while watching Swiatek learn to get to grips with an unfamiliar surface has also been something to watch.
Swiatek was looking nothing like a contender at Eastbourne, having faded away in the second and third sets against Daria Kasatkina in what ended up being a one sided loss. It was clear that the Pole has the weapons to perform well on grass but the conditions she would have to adapt to before becoming more comfortable. The first three rounds have been and gone with the minimum of fuss for her, with a 6-1 6-0 win over Irina Camelia Begu capping off a strong first week for her.
Jabeur continues to get better month on month and should be a Top 20 for the first time before long. After becoming the first Arab woman to win a WTA title in Birmingham, she has taken that form into this tournament. She has back to back wins over former Wimbledon champions, following up her win over Venus Williams with a far more impressive comeback win against Garbine Muguruza. She carved out many an opportunity on the Spaniards serve throughout the match, ending with a total 29 break point opportunities in the 5-7 6-3 6-2 win.
“It’s easier to implement all the tactics that I wasn’t able to implement when I wasn’t feeling comfortable. It’s just easier to lead for me and to be aggressive on court and stay focused all the time.” Swiatek said after the Begu win. She looks far more relaxed on the surface after some good wins and it will be up to Jabeur to make things difficult for a dangerous power player as she did against Muguruza. How Swiatek deals with a much more crafty opponent than her previous matches will determine whether this one goes the distance or gets away from her very quickly.
Prediction – Ons Jabeur in three sets