Jabeur defeats Pera to reach French Open quarters


PARIS (AP) — Bernarda Pera could not win a single game on her serve Monday as she was eliminated in straight sets in the fourth round of the French Open.

Facing seventh-seeded Ons Jabeur of Tunisia, the unseeded American was broken eight times on Court Philippe Chatrier and lost 6-3, 6-1. Jabeur won 15 of 16 points on Pera’s second serve. Jabeur, the runner-up at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open last year, advanced to the quarterfinals at Roland Garros for the first time in her career.

In the men’s draw, fourth-seeded Casper Ruud reached the quarterfinals for the second straight year with a 7-6 (3), 7-5, 7-5 win over Nicolas Jarry.

Ruud, the runner-up in Paris last year, delivered a solid display to counter his big-serving Chilean opponent, raising his game on important points in a tense encounter. Ruud saved 14 of 17 break points.

Like Pera, Jabeur struggled with her serve but managed to save eight of the 12 break points she faced.

“She put a lot of pressure on my service,” Jabeur said. “I’m pleased that I was able to win my service games when I needed to. … Hopefully, I’ll return well and serve better in my next match.”

Pera looked frustrated and tried to shorten rallies, but the strategy did not work. She ended up making 33 unforced errors in total.

Back from a calf injury that hampered her preparations for the tournament, Jabeur became the first Tunisian and Arab woman to progress that far at the French Open. She is the first African woman to reach the last eight at Roland Garros since South Africa’s Amanda Coetzer reached the semifinals in 1997.

Jabeur will next take on another first-time quarterfinalist in Paris — 14th-seeded Beatriz Haddad Maia, who prevailed over Sara Sorribes Tormo after a nearly four-hour marathon.

Haddad Maia rallied past her Spanish rival 6-7 (3), 6-3, 7-5 in a match that featured 16 breaks of serve in windy conditions. She became the first Brazilian woman to reach a major quarterfinal since Maria Bueno made the 1968 US Open semifinals.

Sorribes Tormo had progressed to the fourth round thanks to a walkover after her opponent, reigning Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina, withdrew with an illness.

She remains in the doubles draw with partner Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic. The pair progressed Sunday after their opponents were forced to forfeit a match when Miyu Kato accidentally hit a ball girl in the neck with a ball after a point.

Later Monday, No. 1-seeded Iga Swiatek will face Lesia Tsurenko at Court Suzanne Lenglen, while No. 6 Coco Gauff takes on Anna Karolina Schmiedlova. A year ago, Swiatek defeated Gauff in the final at the clay-court Grand Slam tournament and they would meet in the quarterfinals this week if they both win their fourth-round match.

In the men’s bracket, No. 6 Holger Rune will take on No. 23 Francisco Cerundolo, No. 27 Yoshihito plays Tomas Martin Etcheverry, and No. 22 Alexander Zverev faces No. 28 Grigor Dimitrov in the night session.

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