London, Jul 15 (EFE).- Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur’s aspirations to become the first Arab or African woman to win a Grand Slam suffered another setback Saturday as the world No. 2 lost the Wimbledon ladies final 6-4, 6-4 to Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic.
Ranked 42nd in the world, the 24-year-old Czech is the first unseeded woman to win Wimbledon in the Open Era. Prior to Saturday, her best showing in a Grand Slam was finishing second to Ashleigh Barty in the 2019 French Open final.
Jabeur, 28, defeated four Grand Slam champions – Bianca Andreescu, Petra Kvitova, Elena Rybakina, and Aryna Sabalenka – to reach the Wimbledon final for the second year in a row.
The Tunisian started well on Saturday, winning 15 of the first 20 points to take a 4-2 lead before dropping the next four games to lose a first set where she committed 17 unforced errors and converted only two of seven break points.
Vondrousova carried that momentum into the second set and won the first game, but Jabeur responded, securing a break to make it 1-1.
She went on to hold serve and then break Vondrousova again for a 3-1 advantage, only for the Czech to break back and win on serve to level the score at 3-3.
Five minutes later, the set was deadlocked 4-4 after the players traded service games.
Jabeur hit the ball into the net to lose serve and fall behind 5-4, putting Vondrousova in position to serve for the match and she did not waste her chance.
The Tunisian was disconsolate after losing her third Grand Slam final in 12 months, with the two Wimbledon defeats bracketing a loss at the 2022 US Open.
“It will be tough to speak because this is very tough. I am going to look ugly in the photos so that’s not going to help. I think this is the most painful loss of my career,” Jabeur said on Centre Court.
“First I want to say congratulations to Marketa and her team for this amazing tournament. You’re an amazing player. I know you have had a lot of injuries so I am very happy for you. It’s going to be a tough day for me today. I’m not going to give up. I’m going to come back stronger and win a Grand Slam one day,” she said.
Vondrousova, who watched the tournament from the stands last year with a cast on her arm, seemed surprised by her victory.
“After everything I have been through, I had a cast last time, it’s amazing I can stand here and hold this. Tennis is crazy,” the champion said. “I don’t know how I’ve done it. The comebacks are not easy you never know what to expect. I was hoping I could come back to this level and now I am here.”