World No 5 Ons Jabeur says she is "so happy" for Aryna Sabalenka's success and jokingly wishes the Belarusian to stay ranked at No 1 until she replaces her at the top spot. Sabalenka, 25, will officially overtake Iga Swiatek from the world No 1 spot on Monday.
After chasing Swiatek since winning the Australian Open, Sabalenka accomplished her goal at the US Open. "Honestly, I'm so happy for Aryna. She deserved that. She's a very solid player. I've practiced with her. Big serve, big hitter.
I think she deserves to be No. 1 spot. She deserved that for a long time ago. Definitely the match yesterday was very interesting. Not so many people surprised because Jelena can play amazing, amazing games. That's the beauty of also WTA, to find different heroes.
I honestly love how Aryna plays with her passion on the court. You can feel it. Hopefully she will stay No 1 until I get there and take her place," Jabeur said of Sabalenka reaching the world No 1 ranking.
Jabeur backs Sabalenka to beat Qinwen Zheng
Meanwhile, there won't be a Jabeur and Sabalenka meeting in back-to-back Grand Slams.
After meeting in the Wimbledon quarterfinal, Jabeur and Sabalenka won't meet in the US Open quarterfinal because the Tunisian was handed a 6-2 6-4 loss by Zheng on Monday. Rising star Zheng, 20, earned praise from Jabeur after their match but the Tunisian is tipping Sabalenka to win their quarterfinal match.
"I mean, as someone that played both, I think Aryna hits harder. Speed-wise I think it's harder. I think she can do both. She can put a spin and she can hit hard. I'm not sure for Qinwen. She can put a lot of spin, for sure. I think Aryna has much more experience.
Her game, you always on your toes. She hits hard, that you always expect something big. She has, like, great hands. The serve is not shaky. If she wants to go for an ace, she would. I think her ball bounces higher on the second serve. Yeah, it's going to be interesting. But my money's on Aryna," Jabeur said.
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