INTERVIEW: [4] Ons Jabeur DEF. Amanda Anisimova 2-6 6-1 6-4 – SFS

INTERVIEW: [4] Ons Jabeur DEF. Amanda Anisimova 2-6 6-1 6-4 – SFS

SEMIFINALS: O. Jabeur DEF. A. ANISIMOVA – 6-4 6-3

Question: Super up-and-down match. How do you feel about the win?

ONS JABEUR: I’m very happy, really, that I’m back in the other final, you know. But she’s a great fighter, and it’s never easy to play those kind of players like Amanda, but I was ready for this. Kind of slow a little bit at the beginning, but I’m glad I didn’t let it slip away from me, especially the second set and the third set.

Question: So tomorrow you play Belinda.

JABEUR: Yeah.

Question: Considering that each of you is a very stylish player, that’s quite a matchup.

JABEUR: Yeah. Yeah.

Question: Can you talk about your thoughts about that?

JABEUR: Yeah. Belinda is a great player, very tough on every surface I gotta say. I know she’s such a fighter, and you can see her complain, but then make winners. So it’s going to be tricky, you know. And most of the players they do this. We’re friends. We talked about playing clay. And I mean last time we played in Madrid it was kind of tough for me, but I think it’s going to be an interesting match. She plays kind of same style as Amanda, you know, hits hard. So I gotta say I got ready from the three sets today, and hopefully I can start good tomorrow.

Question: Going off that and going back to the first and second set, after you drop your first set of the week, what did it take to get back in the second set, kind of go back to playing your game, and then what did it take to finish it off in the third?

JABEUR: I think getting used to Amanda’s shots and getting the reaction more quicker for me and being able to play my game, putting more the slices and more the change of the rhythm gave me more confidence. I think I was more aggressive on the second set, you know, going in, just not being afraid to lose the point, because sometimes with those kind of players you feel like if you give them an easy ball, you’re done. And, actually, that’s what happens more often with them. So you have to really — I picked up a lot of, I mean, kind of crazy balls, and that helped me to come back in certain points. And I think I stole a lot of points from her, which helped me a lot to be able to win the second set and, you know, start slow again in the third set.

Question: Felt like the crowd really got behind you in that second set. How much does that help when the crowd gets behind you and starts cheering you on to do well in that second set?

JABEUR: I love playing in front of a great crowd. I love when people are supporting me. You know, sometimes they’re there against you also. It’s a good thing. You could take the good thing from it. But I love putting on the show, so seeing people — I don’t like to lose very quick, and I think being able to get frustrated, angry, and you know, smiling from time to time on the court really reflects kind of my character and helps me motivate myself to come back and get the win.

Question: Kind of going off that, actually with what you went through today, kind of back and forth, I think the on-court announcer kind of talked about the weather, kind of a little bit all over the place this week, kind of, that’s what the match was today. Your relief, obviously, you showed a lot of emotion when you won the match. Talk about the emotion of getting this done.

JABEUR: Yeah, it was kind of tough because last match I lost was against Collins, and it was kind of the same player. So I was frustrated that I couldn’t find the solution, and it was pretty easy win for her. And as a tennis player, those kind of losses get stuck in your head. And I refused today to lose again against that kind of same player, and I’m very happy that I could find the solution. And, really, that shows a lot of improvement in my game that it was really tough in the first few sessions here. I was kind of a little bit frustrated because I always want to do well, and I’m very happy that the hard work is paying off.

Question: I want to tag on to his question. Last year you make the semifinals of both tournaments here.

JABEUR: Yeah.

Question: And I remember something you said before one of them, I forget which one. But you said, “I want to show them what Ons can do.”

JABEUR: Yeah.

Question: And I’m wondering, what do you feel you can do even more now than when you said that last year?

JABEUR: Well, to start with, being in the final, like I said, I mean, I don’t have very good records in the finals. Let’s start by that. Let’s start by showing that I can really push myself more mentally, physically and on the court, you know, playing a player that is strong enough and not easy to play in the finals. I think let me start by showing that side of me, the mentality that I’m going with tomorrow. I think that will be the best thing that I can show tomorrow.

Question: I wasn’t here last year, so I’m guessing it was quite a different atmosphere, obviously, from last year to this. How has your experience differed, and what has this experience — sort of having that energy on court, how has that impacted your tennis?

JABEUR: Well, last year we didn’t have the center court. Different, kind of smaller court, but it was great conditions. We were in the bubble, COVID. But same tournament, same great energy. Well, like I felt a difference between the 500 and 250, obviously. But I mean, it’s always great to play here. For some reason I love playing on this clay. I love — it’s always fun to play here. Like I said, the people have the great energy. But, again, you know, I lost in the semifinal and the finals last year, but I always want to get a title here. It’s such an amazing tournament. And since I arrived here, I said I want to take a photo shoot in that area of “The Notebook.” So I’m one match away to break the title. And you guys should take me there. I don’t care.

Question: I think Diane has asked Ryan Gosling to come.

JABEUR: Okay. I’ll tell my husband not to come. (Laughs). There is, I think, the house or the hotel they stayed in, it’s like not far from us. And I checked the lake. The lake is like 40 minutes away. So I’m ready. I just need the trophy.

Question: I mean, maybe you don’t want to go down this path and be quite as serious, but this would be your biggest title of your career. You’ve worked really hard for it. You’ve been through a lot in your career. Do you have an idea of what it would mean to you to be able to win this title?

JABEUR: I mean, it would mean so much. I was very close last year in Chicago when I lost the final gets Muguruza. But I hope I learned from the mistake of being a break up and knowing how to finish a match. Yeah, I’m going for every title I can. I know the 500 is one of the greatest titles I can win, but I’m aiming for more, aiming for bigger. And hopefully this title, hopefully tomorrow, after the photo shoot, would be the great start for many other titles, big ones.

Question: Belinda has told us that she’s been coloring a lot this week to relax. We know that you haven’t been doing hot yoga, but what have you been doing to relax?

JABEUR: Well, like I said, the red light therapy.

Question: Oh, right.

JABEUR: The meditation under the red light. I’m going to choose good meditation tonight to be ready for tomorrow. And I’ll send a book for Belinda to color, my face. (Laughs).

Amanda Anisimova Charleston Ons Jabeur