Berlin | Jabeur gets off the mark before rain suspends play

The rain that has dogged the European swing returned to Berlin on Wednesday, but, before it set in, No 8 seed Ons Jabeur of Tunisia won her rain-delayed 1st-round match from Tuesday at the ecotrans Ladies Open, finishing with a 6-4 7-6(4) win over Chinese qualifier Xinyu Wang.

I always feel comfortable in Berlin. Coco Gauff

Jabeur, who led by a set on Tuesday night before rain forced the end of that match into Wednesday, was the tournament champion in 2022.

It took Jabeur 3 stages to complete the win due to the rain interruptions – the first at end of the opener ahead of the rain on Tuesday, then again at 3-2 in the second on Wednesday, and finally at 7-6(4) in the tiebreak after the rain.

The Tunisian converted 5 of 7 break points in the process, and advanced to face Linda Noskova of the Czech Republic in round 2.


Victoria Azarenka is the first to make the Last 8 after beating Zeynep Sonmez on Wednesday

© Inaki Esnaola/Getty Images

Former World No 1 Victoria Azarenka from Belarus became the first player to advance to the quarter-finals after defeating 22-year old Turkish qualifier Zeynep Sonmez, 6-3 6-3.

Following her upset over Greece’s Maria Sakkari, the 7th seed, in the 1st-round, the Belarusian has yet to drop a set and will face either No 3 seed Elena Rybakina from Kazakhstan or Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova in the Last 8 on Friday.

The match between 6th-seeded Zheng Qinwen from China and former Doubles No 1 Katerina Siniakova was interrupted by rain with the Czech leading 5-3.


Aryna Sabalenka's opener against Daria Kasatkina was postponed until Thursday due to the rain in Berlin

© Inaki Esnaola/Getty Images

World No 3 Aryna Sabalenka from Belarus and reigning Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova from the Czech Republic, both who had received byes, had their 2nd-round matches postponed due to the rain, and now will play on Thursday.

Seeded No 2 at the WTA 500 in Berlin, Sabalenka was set to get her campaign underway against Russian 14th seed Daria Kasatkina, while 5th-seeded Vondrousova was due to face another Russian, Anna Kalinskaya, with the winners to square off against each other in the quarter-finals.

Sabalenka, the Australian Open 2024 champion, has yet to win a title on grass, ‘although I actually like playing on grass’, she says.

Thursday also sees the first appearance of top seed Coco Gauff opening against Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova, while her doubles partner, fellow American and 4th seed, Jessica Pegula, takes on Croatia’s Donna Vekic, last year’s finalist and a wild-card into the draw.

“I always feel comfortable in Berlin,” said Gauff, who won the US Open in 2023.

Seven players from the Top 10 in the world rankings set out this week to battle it out for the title at the ecotrans Ladies Open at the Steffi Graf Stadium of the LTTC ‘Rot-Weiß’ e. V. in Berlin, and 4 have yet to strike a ball.


Top seed Coco Gauff makes her first appearance at the Berlin Ladies Open on Thursday

© Inaki Esnaola/Getty Images


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