Monastir | Dart falls in Tunisia where Jabeur gets underway

British No 2 Harriet Dart could not follow up her impressive 6-2 6-4 win over Spain’s Nuria Parrizas on Tuesday, falling to 3rd-seeded Alizé Cornet, 6-3 6-4, on Wednesday at the Jasmin Open Monastir in Tunisia.

Young people must gain self-confidence to achieve their ambitions. Ons Jabeur

Dart, however, remains in contention in the doubles alongside Heather Watson after the pair defeated Alena Fomina-Klotz & Ekaterina Yashnina, 6-3 6-1, to reach the quarter-finals.

Another Brit, Emily Appleton, has also made it through to the Last 8 of the doubles with her partner Quinn Gleason from America, after they beat France’s Etell Cascino & Olivia Tjandramulia from Australia, 6-2 6-2.

In the singles, top seed Ons Jabeur eased into the 2nd-round of her home tournament at Monastir on Tuesday with a straight sets win over American Ann Li.

Jabeur, a finalist at both Wimbledon and the US Open this year, won 6-2 6-3 in the first ever WTA tour event to be hosted in Tunisia.

The World No 2 took 73 minutes to dispatch her 67th ranked opponent in their first meeting.

The Monastir tournament, staged on the central coast of Tunisia, is just the second women’s professional event organised in Africa, after that of Rabat in Morocco.

Jabeur is hugely popular in north Africa, and the World No 2 is hoping ‘to reach the final and win in Monastir to make Tunisians happy’.

The 28-year-old, whose ambition is ‘to be a good example for all the young people who follow her’, has won 3 WTA titles including 2 this year in Madrid and Berlin.

“Young people must gain self-confidence to achieve their ambitions,” said the player dubbed ‘Minister of Happiness’ in a Tunisia hit by a deep political and economic crisis.

Ons Jabeur has played a significant role in getting the WTA 250 event to her homeland of Tunisia

© Bechir Taieb/AFP via Getty Images

Meanwhile, qualifier Lucrezia Stefanini of Italy rallied from a set down to eliminate Polish No 8 seed Magda Linette, 2-6 6-4 6-4, in the 1st-round on Monday, when 3 seeded players in action also advanced.

Cornet from France beat Brazil’s Laura Pigossi, 7-6(3) 6-0 to set up her meeting with Dart, while No 5 seed Elise Mertens of Belgium breezed past Romania’s Jaquline Cristian, 6-1 6-1 in 56 minutes, and 7th-seeded Katerina Siniakova from Czech Republic was leading 6-4, 4-0 when her French opponent, Chloe Paquet, retired.

Claire Liu of the US and Despina Papamichail of Greece also won their respective matches on Day 1.

On Tuesday, 2nd seed Veronika Kudermetova dispatched fellow Russian Varvara Gravcheva, 6-1 6-0 and will play Poland’s Magdalena Frech for a place in the quarters.

Already in the Last 8 are Cornet,  Mertens, after the Belgian posted a 5-7 6-1 6-2 win over Greek qualifier Despina Papamichail, Liu, who upset Siniakova, 7-5 6-2, and Diane Parry, advancing when Stefanini retired from their match with the score standing at 6-3, 1-0 in the Frenchwoman’s favour.



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