With Iga Swiatek’s shock loss on Saturday, the pressure on Ons Jabeur will be mounting now as the presumed favourite for the tournament. She faces an Elise Mertens who has been far from her best so far this week despite making it to the third round for an eighteenth slam in a row. Mertens won in the only meeting between these two – taking it in straight sets at the US Open last year.
Mertens consistency over the past few years has been a sight to behold but she had always been lacking when it came to playing against those considered at or above her level. After two disappointing performances to begin the tournament, she was much better against Angelique Kerber. She kept things solid in her 6-4 7-5 win, allowing the German to implode with 26 unforced errors.
Jabeur has dealt with three weak opponents with the minimum of fuss this week, losing just thirteen games across her wins. Five of those came against in the last round against Diane Parry, whom she needed just over an hour to dump out of the tournament. “Those few rounds is always tricky. I want to play my best tennis. Obviously if you’re too comfortable, it’s not that good as well. I’m trying to keep focused. I’m always ready. I’m just trying to play my game and keep it as simple as possible, for sure.” she said after.
A win here would make it Mertens first time in the last eight but she is going to have a tough time against a confident Jabeur. The third seed looks likely to win a slam at some point in her career and what better time than now? She has great variety in her game to frustrate a player like Mertens and is in a very confident mood right now. She is unbeaten on grass so far this year and with Caroline Garcia or Marie Bouzkova up for the winner, the chance to make the final or better grows bigger.
Prediction – Ons Jabeur in straight sets