Tunisian tennis star Ons Jabeur lifted her maiden WTA 1000 title in Madrid and wrote tennis history in the process.
On Saturday, Jabeur defeated USA’s Pegula 7-5 0-6 6-2 to become the first Arab winner of a WTA 1000 tournament.
After winning a tight first set, Jabeur collapsed in the second set as Pegula broke the Tunisian three times to easily win the second set and force a decider.
Jabeur didn’t win a single game in the second set but started the third set with a break in the opening game.
Jabeur got broken back in the second game of the third set but it didn’t impact her negatively as she broke Pegula again in the third and seventh games to clinch a three-set victory.
Jabeur: Pegula was a tough opponent, I’m so happy
“[Pegula] was really good, putting a lot of pressure, playing kind of the game that I don’t like,” Jabeur said, per the WTA Tour website. “As soon as I was 30-0 down on my serve [in the last game], I was like, ‘Of course you want to make it tougher. Of course you want to suffer here. You don’t want to just finish an easy game.’
“When I had the match point, I was like I had to win it from the beginning, otherwise it’s going to be very tough for me. But I’m very happy and trying to realize that I won today, really.”
Jabeur has had a strong clay season and now she has won her first title of the year.
Jabeur finished runner-up in Charleston, while in Stuttgart she made the quarterfinal.
“I’m so happy that I didn’t wait long [for the title], because I was really disappointed after Charleston and Stuttgart,” Jabeur said. “I was really close and I know I was playing really good there. But I have been doing a lot of hard work to see that it’s paying off. I cannot describe how I feel right now.”