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WATCH: Jabeur gets away with drop shot on Doha match point
Published Mar 02, 2021
Ons Jabeur had plenty to be happy about after opening her title quest at the Qatar Total Open in Doha Tuesday.
Jabeur collected 25 winners to 17 unforced errors in blowing past Anna Blinkova, 6-2, 6-2, but the way she ended her victory was a topic of discussion afterwards. On her second match point, the Tunisian opted to pull out one of her favorite ploys, the drop shot, in favor of hitting an overhead or short-court forehand.
"Not surprising coming from me, though, huh?," Jabeur initially responded when asked about the decision.
While it wasn't executed to her highest of standards, the tactic was enough to foil Blinkova. The Russian arrived in time, but netted her reply to fall after just 68 minutes on court.
"Honestly, I couldn't do an overhead. It was tough because of the wind. My coach probably would have wanted for me to hit a forehand," a smiling Jabeur reflected.
"I just wanted to surprise her, because I was like really preparing to hit a big forehand, but then at the last minute, just changed it up. It was close. She was really there to get the ball. I'm glad that I got away with that one. Sometimes if I'm feeling good and good on the court, I really like to mix it up with some drop shots, so the player would not know what I'm gonna do. I think today that really did help me on the court."
In the second round, Jabeur will take on No. 2 seed Karolina Pliskova. Just over a year ago on these very courts, Jabeur stunned the Czech in three sets to reach the quarterfinals. Needless to say, Jabeur is expects the former world No. 1 to come out with an extra source of motivation.
"It's going to be a very tricky match. I'm sure she's gonna come on court really hungry to win, wants her revenge," she said.
"But I will be ready for that."