It may not have come the way they wanted—a walkover and a retirement—but Garbine Muguruza and Ons Jabeur both advanced to the final of the WTA 500 event in Chicago on Saturday.

Muguruza was the first of the two to book their spot in the final, moving past Marketa Vondrousova after the 2019 Roland Garros finalist had to withdraw due to a gastrointestinal illness.

The Spaniard is now through to the 16th WTA final of her career, going 8-7 in her first 15. She’ll be looking for her second WTA title of the year, having won a WTA 1000 in Dubai, which was also on hardcourts, in March.

Jabeur followed Muguruza into the final with a 6-4, 3-2 retirement victory over an injured Elena Rybakina later in the day.

“Elena is such an amazing player—I hope she will be ready for Indian Wells, which is such an important tournament,” Jabeur said. “It’s never easy to finish a match like that.”

Until Rybakina had to retire, Jabeur was on fire, hitting 14 winners to 11 unforced errors and converting all three break points she had against one of the biggest servers on the tour.

Her win over the Kazakh was her tour-leading 44th win of the year, breaking a tie with Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, who is now in second place with 43.

After the win, Jabeur gave a shout-out to the Tunisians in the crowd.

“It means a lot—honestly, Tunisians are everywhere, and I love that,” she said. “Every place is amazing, and being here in Chicago, seeing all the Tunisians, it feels like home.”

Jabeur is now through to her fourth career WTA final, going 1-2 in her first three. She won her first WTA title at the WTA 250 grass-court event in Birmingham right before Wimbledon this year.

Jabeur is 1-1 head-to-head against Muguruza, but she had a match point the time she lost to the Spaniard.

Jabeur is 1-1 head-to-head against Muguruza, but she had a match point the time she lost to the Spaniard.


Muguruza and Jabeur are tied 1-1 in their head-to-head, with Muguruza winning in the second round of Hobart in 2020, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4), and Jabeur winning in the third round of Wimbledon this year, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2.

In that Hobart meeting, Muguruza fought off a match point serving to stay in the match at 5-6 in the third set.

“It’s a final so anything is possible,” Jabeur said. “We are both racing for Guadalajara, so it’s an important match, and she’s such an amazing player—I have a lot of respect for her.

“The last time we played at Wimbledon was a very tough match.”