Iga Swiatek and Ons Jabeur exchange compliments ahead of Stuttgart Open SF

Iga Swiatek and Ons Jabeur exchange compliments ahead of Stuttgart Open SF
Iga Swiatek and Ons Jabeur exchange compliments ahead of Stuttgart Open SF

Iga Swiatek and Ons Jabeur will meet for the sixth time on the WTA Tour on Saturday in the semifinals of the 2023 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix.

Swiatek took down Karolina Pliskova 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 in a brilliant comeback win in the quarterfinals, while Jabeur needed only two sets to send Beatriz Haddad Maia packing from the WTA 500 tournament with a 6-3, 6-0 beatdown.

With the duo set to resume their rivalry on tour, which is currently 3-2 in favor of the Pole, they spoke about each other at their respective press conferences after their quarterfinal wins to exchange compliments and discuss game plans.

Ons Jabeur admitted that the World No. 1 was not at the same level she was at last year, where she beat her twice in two meetings -- the final of the Italian Open and the US Open. The Tunisian, therefore, hoped to approach her with the same confidence she did during their 2021 Wimbledon meeting, where she came from a set down to beat Swiatek in three sets.

Jabeur further added that she will try to be more "unpredictable" against the perseverant 21-year-old on Saturday, wondering if that could be the key to throwing her off rhythm.

"You know, the good thing maybe, Iga is not at the same level as she was last year. I'm gonna really focus on playing like I played her on grass at Wimbledon," Ons Jabeur said.
"I think I'm moving well. I'm playing good tennis on this court. We focus to just go there and want to win even more, you know, because I know Iga doesn't give up. I think maybe the key is to be unpredictable with Iga, not knowing which shots I'm gonna do. I think that's really good to disturb her a lot," she added.

Iga Swiatek, meanwhile, was all praise for the former World No. 2, declaring that the match was going to be a little bit different than most matches because of her unique style of play.

"For sure when you have Ons, you're not gonna expect an easy match. It's gonna be a little bit different than most of the matches you play. You have to be ready for different game style," Iga Swiatek said.

Regardless, the three-time Grand Slam champion was excited for the clash, adding that she was happy to be able to reach the semifinals in front of an audience that supported her all the way. She looked forward to a "tight" semifinal contest, even if she did not know exactly what Jabeur had in store for her.

"It's pretty exciting, but when you're out there on court it's tough. So we'll see. I just hope it's gonna be a nice match, because I'm pretty happy that I'm back and I can just play in front of audience and feel these emotions. Even though my break wasn't really long, I feel like I really missed that," Swiatek said.
"So with Ons, these matches are always really just tight, you know, so every point matters. I'm really looking forward to it, but I don't expect anything," she added.

"I feel like I'm ready for anything" - Iga Swiatek

Iga Swiatek at the 2023 Miami Open
Iga Swiatek at the 2023 Miami Open

Iga Swiatek also touched on her physical level after the quarterfinal win over Karolina Pliskova -- her first three-setter of the year. The World No. 1 was of the opinion that she is in a much better place than earlier in the year, hoping that her level continues to improve leading up to her French Open title defense.

"I feel good. So as you could see like physically, I was ready till the end. You know, for sure we're kind of aiming for me to be like most fit at Roland Garros," Iga Swiatek said.
"I just started preparation for clay court, but I didn't have any problems with longer rallies and coming back to play another point in 20 seconds. So I feel like I'm ready for anything. But hopefully I'm gonna be in better and better shape every tournament," she added.