Ons Jabeur defeated Belgian Elise Mertens 7-6 (9), 6-4 on Sunday, advancing to the Wimbledon quarterfinals for a second consecutive year and giving her chances of being the first African to win the Rosewater Dish a boost.
The top performer during the first week of the grasscourt championships was the second-ranked Tunisian, the only seed remaining in the lower half of the women’s draw. She advanced to the round of eight without dropping a set.
Mertens, though, proved she wasn’t a pushover throughout the match as she grabbed five set points in a drawn-out first-set tiebreak.
But once Jabeur had the strength to get out of a jam, she improved in the second set and sealed the victory when Mertens gave up with a double fault.
Next up for the 27-year-old is 66th-ranked Czech rival Marie Bouzkova as the Tunisian looks to get to a Grand Slam semifinal for the first time.