World No. 5 Ons Jabeur admitted she was thinking about her head-to-head versus Veronika Kudermetova before their San Jose meeting. On Friday, Jabeur exited San Jose after Kudermetova handed her a 7-6 (5) 6-2 loss. 19th-ranked Kudermetova now owns a 3-0 head-to-head versus Jabeur.
Not only that Jabeur has never beaten Kudermetova, she has never not even won a set against the Russian. In 2019, Kudermetova clinched wins over Jabeur in 's-Hertogenbosch and Moscow. “Big history with her because I (haven’t won) in front of her before,” Jabeur said, per The San Francisco Chronicle.
“I was trying to maintain a great level mentally. I was really satisfied with the way I played in the first set. I just think it shifted in certain points. Honestly, I felt like I tried everything in the first set. I couldn’t blame myself a lot because she played her points”.
Jabeur on the challenges of facing Kudermetova
“It’s tough to play someone that serves really good,” Jabeur said. “You can win a point and you’re a great making the effort and it is an ace after.
But I was trying to talk to myself more tactically than mentally to try to find more solutions”. In the third game, Kudermetova claimed the first break of the match to open a 2-1 lead. However, it didn't take long for Jabeur to get back into the set as she broke back Kudermetova in the fourth game to tie the set to two games apiece.
The rest of the set went without breaks and a tie-break had to decide the winner of the first set. Jabeur recovered from a 2-5 tie-break deficit to tie the tie-break to 5-5, before losing the following two points and the first set.
After winning the first set, Kudermetova broke Jabeur twice to open a 5-1 lead. Kudermetova failed to serve out for the match in the seventh game, but broke Jabeur again in the eighth game - when the Tunisian was serving to stay in the match.