‘It was like a football match,’ says Simona Halep after edging Ons Jabeur in two-hour clash
She doesn’t quite know how she survived, but Simona Halep is into the quarter-final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships after a brilliant comeback win over Ons Jabeur.
The top seed overcame a nightmare opening set and then saved a match point in the decider to squeeze past Ons Jabeur, winning 1-6, 6-2 7-6, (9-7) in exactly two hours.
💯#DDFTennis @DDFTennis pic.twitter.com/fjx6zUEmK3
— Simona Halep (@Simona_Halep) February 19, 2020
In a match that had Tunisian and Romanian fans going up against each other in the stands, it was Jabeur who dominated the opening set with two breaks of serve, but Halep hit back in the second with three breaks, although the Tunisian got one break back.
Two-time Grand Slam winner Halep had the early advantage in the decider with a break in game two, but Jabeur was back level on serve in game seven and so it went to the tie-breaker.
The Romanian grabbed an early mini break and found herself with three match points, but the unseeded Jabeur won four consecutive points to not only save the match points, but also fashion a match point of her own.
Halep fought off the match point and won the final three points to take the match.
“It was like a football match or a Fed Cup match. I didn’t really realise what is going on on court. Everyone was with a lot of energy so we had to give our best. I think it was a great match,” she told WTATennis.com.
“The only one thing that you have to do when you don’t have rhythm during the match, just put your head down and fight for every ball. You never know when you can win an easy ball or a tough ball. What I had to do is just to fight. I’m really proud that I could do that.”
She will face Aryna Sabalenka in the quarter-final after the eighth-seeded Belarusian beat doubles partner Elise Mertens of Belgium 6-4, 6-3.
Second seed Karolina Pliskova had an easy day at the office as she defeated Kristina Mladenovic from France 6-1, 6-2 to set up a last-eight clash against Elena Rybakina.
Ninth seed Garbine Muguruza is also still alive as she battled past Veronika Kudermetova, beating the Russian 7-5, 4-6, 6-4.
“There’s a lot of things that I could have done better,” the former world No 1 said after her win.
“But I’m excited that I gave myself another opportunity to be in the quarters.”
The Spaniard will face Jennifer Brady for a place in the semi-final after the American, who stunned Elina Svitolina in the first round, beat Roland Garros runner-up Marketa Vondrousova 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.
Like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @T365Official.
French Open 2023: Who is playing on the show courts on Sunday 28 May
Check out who will be in action on the show courts on Sunday 28 May.
WATCH: Arthur Fils becomes youngest titlist of 2023 with Lyon Open triumph
Arthur Fils became the youngest and lowest-ranked champion of the season in Lyon.
Carlos Alcaraz reflects on ‘crazy’ top seeding at French Open
Carlos Alcaraz is the top seed in a Grand Slam for the first time at the age of just 20.
Coco Gauff hopes returning to Paris can help her find her groove
The 19-year-old reached her first grand slam singles final here last year.
Young duo could challenge Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic versus the youth brigade appears to be how the French Open is shaping up.
Iga Swiatek backed to win third French Open in two weeks
John McEnroe believes that it is hard to look past Iga Swiatek as the favourite for the women’s singles title.
Former champion names seven men who could win Roland Garros
Former French Open winner Mats Wilander has picked out seven men who he feels have a shot at Grand Slam glory in Paris.
Taylor Fritz makes Carlos Alcaraz claim in exclusive Tennis365 interview
Top ten player Taylor Fritz opens up on Alcaraz, the GOAT debate, what tennis needs to do to improve and so much more
Rafael Nadal’s French Open clothing is revealed… but he may never wear it
Nike has revealed what Rafael Nadal would have been wearing at the French Open.
Emma Raducanu set for fresh rankings blow amid uncertainty over her future
Jodie Burrage could be set to knock Emma Raducanu off her pedestal as the British No 1 over the course of the grass court season.