Ons Jabeur withstood a brief lapse in concentration in her opening-round match at the Zhengzhou Open on Thursday. The Tunisian eventually pulled through 6-3, 7-6(5) win over Lucia Bronzetti of Italy. The match finished two minutes short of two hours.
Jabeur showcased she was the higher-ranked opponent in the contest in the opening set and up to the eighth game of the second set. Thereafter, things got away from her for a while as she struggled to rein in her serve see the match through, not once but thrice on her serve.
In fact, Bronzetti thwarted four match points that Jabeur had before the latter made a headway on the fifth. Bronzetti did better than her fourth-seeded rival when it came to winning second-serve points. She won 42% of her second-serve points to Jabeur’s 38%.
Looking to reach a second semi-final on Chinese soil, after she made it to the Ningbo Open semis en route to winning the title there, Jabeur was to play Daria Kasatkina.
Zhengzhou Open: Ons Jabeur's shocker
A few hours after her win, Jabeur announced her decision to not continue playing in the event on account of an injury to her knee.
Kasatkina has now received a walkover into the semi-finals, as a result. Earlier on Thursday, the 26-year-old, seeded eighth, had a runabout of her own in her second-round match against Zhouxuan Bai. The home hope played her heart out in the second set before Kasatkina brought home a 6-2, 6-4 win for herself after 93 minutes of play.
German Laura Siegemund ousted 11th-seeded Liudmila Samsonova in their match-up. After two hours and 18 minutes, the qualifier posted a comeback 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 victory. The last quarter-final spot at the Zhengzhou Open was taken by Barbora Krejcikova. The Czech needed 86 minutes to wrap up a 7-5, 6-1 win over Croatia’s Petra Martic.