Simona Halep describes her last meeting with Ons Jabeur in Dubai as “wild.”
When they meet in the quarterfinals, the Roman expects more magic and mayhem.
Halep overcame Elena-Gabriela Ruse 6-3, 6-2 in an all-Romanian fight to go to the quaterfinals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships against Jabeur.
Jabeur, the eighth seed, defeated American Jessica Pegula 6-3, 6-1 earlier in the day.
In front of a raucous audience in Dubai two years ago, Halep fought back from a match point to defeat Jabeur 1-6, 6-2, 7-6(7). In their rematch, the two-time Grand Slam champion is ready for another grueling challenge.
“As I said on the court, hopefully we don’t have to play three and a half hours again,” Halep added. “It was an odd match.”
It’s good because I won. It was actually quite physically demanding. It wasn’t easy.
“Also, yes, the fans aided us in getting through, in fighting to the end. So I’m anticipating a tough fight tomorrow, but that’s why I’m here. I’ll make an effort to recover and give it my all again tomorrow.”
Jabeur, who was forced to withdraw from the Australian Open last month owing to a back issue, has been impressive in Dubai. The 10th-ranked Tunisian’s performance is based on two key factors, according to Halep: It has a nice feel to it and has a lot of fighting power.
“I believe she has a lot of talent,” Halep remarked. “She has a strong grasp on that ball. She’s making good progress. I believe she is aware of the game of tennis. She is able to win important and good matches as a result of this.
“She’s also a fighter. This is quite beneficial in that regard.