Interview: [2] Ons Jabeur – SF (def. [3] Daria Kasatkina 7-5 7-5)

Interview: [2] Ons Jabeur – SF (def. [3] Daria Kasatkina 7-5 7-5)

Saturday, April 8, 2023

Semifinals – [2] Ons Jabeur (TUN) def. [3] Daria Kasatkina 7-5 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Ons, congratulations reaching your second consecutive Charleston final. Can you just talk us through the match and how you refocused after that rain delay?

ONS JABEUR: Yeah. I mean, it never helps with the rain, but today it did help. It was like a tough match, you know, never easy to play Daria. It’s so tough to finish one point. And I was pretty patient and stayed with the ball and listening to my coach, you know, it did really help.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please?
Question: What does it feel like to be in a final again?

ONS JABEUR: Feels amazing. You know, I came here, just wanted to play matches, you know, and gain back the confidence. It’s not easy to come back after injuries. So I’m very happy. I’ll try to make it to the full shoot this time, if the boat is ready, you know, and just bring — what’s his name? The actor?

Question: Ryan Gosling.
ONS JABEUR: Yeah. Just bring Ryan. My husband, I don’t think he would mind.

Question: Ons, what do you think the difference was after that rain delay?

ONS JABEUR: Speaking with my coach really helped, and knowing what I was doing wrong, and apparently I wasn’t that patient. I just wanted to finish the point, especially playing against someone like Daria. I know she doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, so it’s all about me; either make a mistake or make the winner. And, you know, just started over, and I’m glad I didn’t lose that set, even though I started really bad after the rain. But pretty happy that I was fighting and was all about fighting, I think, for this match, for sure.

Question: You’ve talked about how important this tournament has become to you over the last couple of years. What would it mean to hold that trophy tomorrow afternoon?

ONS JABEUR: It would mean a lot. Just working and coming here. And, as I said, semifinal, you know, hopefully it will be the title. But I will try my best, definitely will give 100 percent. I will learn a lot from the match from last year. I think I’m pretty good at learning from matches. So let’s hope they play for five hours again, you know. With the rain? No, I’m joking.

Question: What do you do during the three-hour break to just try to stay mentally and physically focused?

ONS JABEUR: I was playing cards with Belinda. I swear. We were playing some cards, and we actually didn’t know it was three hours. So every time they postponed by hour, hour. So as soon as I know it was an hour and a half, I got something to eat, because I know it’s very important that I get the energy right. And then I was playing a game board with Belinda, and then I spoke to my coach, warm up again, and I was ready.

Question: Who won at cards between and you Belinda?

ONS JABEUR: Definitely not Belinda. (Laughs). Because we were playing with Hromo, and I won one time, he won two times, and ah, Belinda didn’t win.

Question: Do you know the last player to reach back-to-back finals here before you?

ONS JABEUR: Can I guess? Can you give me the first —

Question: You’ve played doubles with her.

ONS JABEUR: Man, I wish I had a list like Serena. Two players I played doubles with before. Serena? Oh, wow. Okay. Ah, she won a couple of times. Of course, it’s Serena.

Question: When you think back to last year and getting into that final, how much do you feel like you’ve learned or changed? I know it’s a big deal for you to be back there again this year. But what do you feel like has changed about you as a person and player now that you’re back at this stage?

ONS JABEUR: Definitely more experience in playing finals. I think — you know, I had a better experience with finals before last year. When I came here, it was really important to me that I win, and then something happened in Madrid, Berlin. So, you know, just getting more titles was very important for me. Not just coming with one title, you know, coming with three. And I’m just going to learn from the other finals that I played, and definitely will give it all. And I think I have more experience. But, for sure, you know, in a final you never know what’s going to happen. For me I’m just going to give everything tomorrow, more than 100 percent, and go for the title. I really want this.

Question: Congratulations on reaching another final. The crowd was really fun out there today, despite the weather delays. How special was it to look up and see some Tunisian flags and some signs up there in the crowd?

ONS JABEUR: Very, very special. I know there is a lady always follows me and comes from Canada, actually. She was having like a big van with her husband. And that’s very nice. And someone else that knows someone that I know. Tunisia is very small, so we know each other. So that was really amazing, and really thank them for coming, especially in this weather; you don’t know if you’re going to play or not, very cold. I think it’s Easter now? Yes. It’s this weekend. So, yeah, it’s really amazing, and hopefully we’ll see more crowd tomorrow.

Question: Just stylistically the matchup against Pegula and Bencic, what do you feel like each of those players offer in terms of challenges for you?

ONS JABEUR: I think they have similar game, you know. They attack really fast. But both are fighters. They don’t give up. You can see like Jess coming back from 5-3 or 5-2, I don’t know. And I think it’s going to be a difficult match either playing Belinda or playing Pegula. So I mean, let’s see. I’m going to do my best. If I play Jess, I’ll play like I played in Madrid, except the second set. That doesn’t count.

And if I play Belinda, well, I’ll play like Berlin, but the first set. I hope she doesn’t get anything. Not like last year.

Question: She’s pretty competitive.
ONS JABEUR: She is. Both. Both. You can see.Example.

Ons Jabeur
Players in this article