Serena Williams and Ons Jabeur have been through to the Eastbourne doubles semifinal after ousting Shuko Aoyama and Hao-Ching Chan 6-2 6-4.
Williams and Jabeur made a fast start to the match, claiming back-to-back breaks in the third and fifth games to open an early 5-1 lead.
Aoyama and Chan served out the seventh game to end Williams and Jabeur’s run of five consecutive games but it didn’t change much as Williams and Jabeur routinely served out for the first set in the eighth game.
After not facing a single break point in the first set, Williams and Jabeur faced break points in each of their first four service games in the second set.
After saving a total of nine break points, Williams and Jabeur claimed the first break of the second set in the ninth game to open a 5-4 lead.
In the 10th game, Williams and Jabeur realized their first match point to complete a straight-set win.
Williams, Jabeur glad with their performance
In their Eastbourne opener, Williams and Jabeur were down by a set before coming back to in three sets versus Marie Bouzkova and Sara Sorribes Tormo.
“For me, it felt really good,” Jabeur said after the match, as quoted on the WTA website. “We played much better [than in the opening round]. I think we are getting used to each other now. I am ready for more tournaments, to be honest with you.”
“Me too,” Williams responded.
Williams is playing her first tournament in 12 months this week.
After the Eastbourne doubles, Williams will make her singles return at Wimbledon next week.
“I have had some really good training leading up to Wimbledon and up to this tournament, and really hitting the ball well and just working out, and it’s been working,” Williams added. “It’s just been connecting. I feel like I have been serving well so that’s been really good. Working really hard on that.”
Williams and Jabeur plays Aleksandra Krunic and Magda Linette in the Eastbourne semifinal.