In a commanding performance, Tunisia's tennis sensation Ons Jabeur secured victory in the Ningbo Open final by defeating Diana Shnaider with a scoreline of 6-2, 6-1. Currently ranked seventh in the women's rankings, Jabeur clinched her fifth WTA Tour title in China, accomplishing this feat in just 78 minutes on the court.
Jabeur, aged 29, opted for a late wildcard entry into the tournament, and her decision proved fruitful as she unleashed 18 winners against her opponent, Shnaider, who is ranked 85th in the world and managed 19 winners.
Reflecting on her triumph, Jabeur expressed her ambition, stating, "These are little steps to winning a Grand Slam final." Despite her impressive career, she has yet to secure a major Grand Slam title, having been a finalist in three Grand Slam events in the past 15 months, twice at Wimbledon and once at the US Open.
Jabeur emphasized the significance of playing in finals like the one in Ningbo, asserting that it provides valuable experience and helps her manage the pressure and stress inherent in major Grand Slam finals.
Meanwhile, at the Pan Pacific Open in Japan, American player Jessica Pegula advanced to the final by defeating Greece's Maria Sakkari with a decisive score of 6-2, 6-3. Pegula noted the advantage of the faster courts in Japan, which played to her strengths, saying, "The faster courts here probably help me a little more than the slower surfaces I've played on in the past."
In the final, Pegula will face off against Veronika Kudermetova, who endured a grueling battle lasting three hours and 25 minutes to overcome Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova with a score of 7-6 (8-6), 6-7 (2-7), 6-3 in Tokyo.
Kudermetova expressed her physical readiness for the upcoming challenge, stating, "Physically I feel OK. I can play another match like that," underscoring her mental and physical strength in the face of demanding matches.