Wimbledon ruminates history with new faces in the women’s quarterfinals

Wimbledon awaits surprises with only 2 of the top-12 ranked seeds remaining in the competition as Sabalenka and Jabeur face each other in the quarterfinals

Belarus' Aryna Sabalenka in action during her fourth round match against Kazakhstan's Elena Rybakina.   -  Reuters

Wimbledon will see surprise seed, Aryna Sabalenka, lock horns with Ons Jabeur on Tuesday. The former has never played a Grand Slam Quarter final before while the latter will play just her second, the first coming in the 2020 Australian Open.

Ons Jabeur, the Tunisian number 21 seed, has become a trailblazer for Arab women as she became the first Arab player, man or woman, to reach the last eight at the All England Club since 1974.

Jabeur, the Tunisian number 21 seed, came back from losing four consecutive games in the opening set to overpower 2020 French Open champion Iga Swiatek in Monday's last-16 encounter.

READ: Federer weathers Sonego storm to reach Wimbledon quarterfinal

Having notched up a historic win for her country, Jabeur continued her celebrations with several fans waving the Tunisian flag on the sidelines.

"Tunisians are everywhere, I got to say," Jabeur said. "I hope they come in more numbers for the next match."

With only two of the top-12 ranked players featuring in the last eight of the tournament, Jabeur sees no reason why she cannot win her maiden Grand Slam title this weekend.

"My goal is to break this quarter-final and be able to go to the semi and why not the final? I'm enjoying my time here in Wimbledon, enjoying the grass a lot," she added.

For Sabalenka though, this is unfamiliar territory.After taking down Elena Rybakina, Sabalenka was quick to praise Jabeur as each woman bids for their first major semi-final. The pair have met twise previously, winning one each.

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"It's going to be great battle", she said.

"She (Jabeur) has good touch, good serving game, moving well," Sabalenka said. "I also have a good serve, play aggressive. (I'm) kind of trying to use my touch also."

Power Hitters

Angelique Kerber, the only former champion left in the women's draw, will take on Czech Karolína Muchová in a battle of powerful hitters on Court One.

Another Czech, Karolína Plíšková, will take confidence from ending Liudmila Samsonova's 10-match unbeaten run on grass to reach the quarters.

Out of the top 10 for the first time in nearly five years, Plíšková is hoping that a deep run at Wimbledon can give a second wind to her career.

She looks set to face Switzerland's Viktorija Golubic in the quarter-finals, who is enjoying a career-best performance at Wimbledon.

Golubic had never got past the third round of a major before this fortnight, but the world number 66 continued her impressive season by defeating Madison Keys in the fourth round.

In a women's draw full of surprises, world Number One Ash Barty started as the favourite and still remains the player to beat at the business end of the tournament.

The Australian has dropped just one set in the opening four rounds and will meet 75th-ranked compatriot Ajla Tomljanović for a place in the semi-finals.

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