Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur pummelled Danka Kovinic 6-3, 6-0 on Saturday to book a title showdown in the WTA 250 tournament in Charleston against Australia’s Astra Sharma.
Jabeur avenged a straight-sets loss to Kovinic in the semi-finals of last week’s tournament on the same green clay courts in Charleston, shaking off some apparent queasiness late in the first set.
She needed 10 set points to pocket the frame, finally converting with a backhand winner.
“She didn’t give me any free points,” Jabeur said. “It was a tough game for both. I’m glad I responded well for the next game.”
Kovinic, who fell to Veronika Kudermetova in last week’s final, was down two breaks when she dug in again late in the second set, saving four match points before Jabeur flicked a winner past her.
Jabeur, who is at a career-high ranking of 27th in the world, earned a meeting with 165th-ranked Sharma, who cooled off red-hot Colombian teenager Maria Camila Osorio Serrano 7-6 (7/5), 6-1.
Sharma, 25, ended the 19-year-olds eight-match winning streak, which had included the first title of her career last week in Bogota.
Trailing 5-6 in the first set, Sharma saved four set points to force a tiebreaker, in which she converted her only set point.
“In the tiebreak, I thought I did a good job, holding my nerve, weathering the storm of her good shots,” Sharma said. “I thought she’s such a clean ball-striker, such a tough opponent that I was mentally prepared for her to hit those. I tried my best to beat her with my physicality, wear her down.”
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