Date: 5 May 2022.
Tournament: Madrid Open 2022.
Venue: Madrid, Spain.
Category: WTA 1000.
Match timing: Not before 1.30 pm local time, 11.30 am GMT, 7.30 am EST, 5 pm IST
Prize money: €6,744,165.
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video.
Ons Jabeur vs Ekaterina Alexandrova preview
Eighth seed Ons Jabeur and Russian qualifier Ekaterina Alexandrova will square off on Thursday, with a berth in the final of the Madrid Open up for grabs.
World No. 10 Jabeur has had a terrific clay season so far. After finishing as the runner-up to Belinda Bencic at Charleston, the Tunisian reached the quarterfinals in Stuttgart.
She has brought that momentum to Madrid this week. In her last two matches, the 27-year-old has beaten players who have posed a problem for her in the past - Belinda Bencic and Simona Halep.
While she needed three sets to down the Swiss, Jabeur blew Halep off the court with a scintillating performance in the quarterfinals. She needed just 67 minutes to notch up a 6-3, 6-2 win over the former World No. 1 and advance to the Madrid semifinals for the first time in her career.
Up next for Jabeur is an opponent who also has a positive head-to-head against the Tunisian.
Former World No. 25 Ekaterina Alexandrova may have made a poor start to the season but she has rediscovered her rhythm following the tour's transition to clay.
The Russian made the semifinals in Charleston last month and has carried that form to Madrid. The 27-year-old has won six matches in a row (inclduing qualifiers) to reach the biggest semifinal of her career.
In her quarterfinal clash against Amanda Anisimova on Wednesday, Alexandrova fell behind by a break twice in the first set but managed to regroup and take a 6-4, 6-3 win.
She will now hope to replicate that effort against familiar foe Jabeur in their last-four clash.
Ons Jabeur vs Ekaterina Alexandrova head-to-head
Alexandrova leads 6-1 in the head-to-head against Jabeur. The Russian has won their last four meetings. Jabeur's only win over Alexandrova came in three sets at Zhuhai in 2017.
Ons Jabeur vs Ekaterina Alexandrova odds
(All odds sourced from BetMGM)
Ons Jabeur vs Ekaterina Alexandrova prediction
The head-to-head record doesn't favor Jabeur at all, but considering her ranking and recent run of form, the Tunisian might fancy her chances against Alexandrova this time around.
The Russian's last win over Jabeur in a complete match came in 2018 in Budapest. Since then, they have met once in Moscow last year, with Jabeur retiring midway.
The Tunisian has made rapid strides in the last couple of years, reaching two Grand Slam quarterfinals. Having thrashed Halep in the last eight this week, she will have a lot of confidence coming into this contest.
Jabeur put up an outstanding performance against the Romanian, perfectly punctuating her groundstrokes with dropshots to throw Halep off her rhythm. She was able to win 78% of the points points on her first serve and will need to replicate that effort in order to snap her losing streak against Alexandrova.
The Russian, on her part, will look to hit Jabeur off the court with her aggressive brand of tennis. But Alexandrova has played two more matches than Jabeur this week and that could take a toll on her fitness should the contest go the distance.
Prediction: Ons Jabeur to win in three sets.