EASTBOURNE, Great Britain - Tunisia's Ons Jabeur overcame more than just Alizé Cornet to reach her first semifinal of the season at the Nature Valley International.
The World No.66 rallied from a set down, a break down in the final set, and an injury scare in the end, to oust the former World No.11, 1-6, 7-5, 6-3.
"I think at this tournament, I'm the queen of losing the first set and then coming back. It's another motivation for me to win, to play better in the second set, but I'm really happy with this win," Jabeur said.
"It wasn't easy at the end, I was kind of scared for my ankle, but hopefully everything will be good. I tried to move better, be better on court, and that helped me regain my shots [in this match]."
From a break down in the final set at 2-1, Jabeur battled back to stay ahead, and led 4-3, 0-40 on Cornet's serve in the eighth game when she rolled her ankle at the back of the court as she pursued a running forehand.
— WTA (@WTA) June 27, 2019
"It was a tough rally at 40-Love. I tried to go forehand down the line, and then I didn't lean very good on my, I mean, leg. I heard, like, a crack. It went really fast, but I don't know," Jabeur said.
"Actually, it doesn't look that bad. At the beginning, I thought I'm not going to be able to walk. But then I was trying, and I was thinking about Karate Kid movie. I don't care, playing on one leg. For me, I was very close to win. It's going to be a waste if I lose this match."
After receiving a medical timeout, the Tunisian returned to the court and eventually broke serve, and sealed the match behind her own serve with ease to book a place in the final four after a dramatic two hours, and four minutes.
Using her flat groundstrokes, drop shots and deft variety, Jabeur recorded 41 winners to 26 unforced errors for the match as Cornet defended expertly, but recorded just seven winners and six unforced.
"Alize brings all the balls. To win a point it was kind of tough for me, and at the beginning was mentally a little bit tough for me to win a point," said Jabeur.
"I know I had to work hard to win every point even if I have easy ball, and it's not an easy ball for me. But, I mean, I was moving better in the second set. The third set, even though I was feeling really tired, but I had to pull that through. I am pretty happy that I did that."
— WTA (@WTA) June 27, 2019
"I want to keep positive and be able to play, especially I'm playing against such a good player, Kerber, and we never played before. So for me it's an opportunity. I'm going to do my best tonight. I trust my team, I trust my physios, and we'll see," Jabeur said.
"For me, I have nothing to lose, for sure. Wimbledon was last year, so maybe it was not the same. I hope she will not play as good as she played last year.
"I'll be ready to play tomorrow. I will do my best, for sure. I mean, she's playing really good. She proved herself everywhere in any tournament. Nothing to lose. I'm going to give 100%, for sure."