Ons Jabeur wins ninth match in a row to set up clash against ‘great player, great friend’ Maria Sakkari

Ons Jabeur in action

The Ons Jabeur winning machine notched up its ninth consecutive win on the WTA Tour as she kept things “simple” to see off Yulia Putintseva at the Italian Open.

Having picked up six wins en route to lifting the Madrid Open trophy on Saturday, Jabeur has added another three victories to her tally in Rome with the latest a 6-3, 6-2 win in 61 minutes over Putintseva from Kazakhstan in the third round.

The world No 7 had a sniff of a break point in game three, but Putintseva saved it. She then got the breakthrough in game seven and a second break in game nine earned her the first set. She followed it up with two more breaks in the second set.

“Honestly, I feel good that it didn’t go over two or three hours, because I know she can have long matches,” the Tunisian said after the match. “Pretty happy that I kept it simple.”

Up next is Maria Sakkari after the fourth-seeded Greek defeated Coco Gauff 6-4, 7-5.

Their head-to-head is 1-1, but Sakkari won their last encounter in Ostrava in 2020.

“A great player, a great friend on tour. … It’s gonna be a tough match. I know she plays really good: big serve, big forehand and really great backhand,” Jabeur said.

“Our last match was very close, I had my opportunities. I think I’m just going to go for it.”

The winner of that clash will face either Daria Kasatkina or Jil Teichmann in the semi-final.

Kasatkina claimed the scalp of second seed Paula Badosa, winning 6-4, 6-4, while Teichmann defeated Elina Rybakina 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, 7-5.