Tennis-Jabeur continues strong run to surge into third round at Wimbledon


Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain - June 29, 2022 Tunisia's Ons Jabeur in action during her second round match against Poland's Katarzyna Kawa REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - Tunisian third seed Ons Jabeur continued her strong run on grass to reach the third round at Wimbledon with an easy 6-4 6-0 victory against qualifier Katarzyna Kawa of Poland on Wednesday.

Currently at a career-high world ranking of second, Jabeur is considered one of the favourites for the title after arriving at the grasscourt Grand Slam having lifted a WTA 500 trophy in Berlin on the same surface two weeks ago.

On Wednesday, the 27-year-old, who reached the 2021 quarter-finals at the All England Club, seemed to carry on from where she left off in her opening round victory when she needed only 54 minutes to beat another qualifier in Mirjam Bjorklund.

Coming into the second-round contest with a 2-0 head-to-head record against the 29-year-old Kawa, ranked 91st, Jabeur played aggressively from the start, mixing strong groundstrokes with deft drop shots to dominate from the baseline.

After an early trade of service breaks, Jabeur cracked the delivery of Kawa, who had never played on grass before this season, a second time in the ninth game before holding serve to take the opening set.

Kawa started struggling with an apparent shoulder problem in the second set and needed medical attention on court while trailing 3-0. She managed to return to the court but failed to offer much resistance.

Jabeur's march to victory was briefly held off on match point as she needed five of them but the Tunisian -- who this week became the highest-ranked African player ever -- sealed the contest with a strong first serve.

She will next meet 77th-ranked Frenchwoman Diane Parry for a place in the fourth round.

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Ken Ferris)

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