PARIS (Agencies): Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur moved into the quarter-finals of the French Open for the first time with a 6-3 6-1 victory over American Bernarda Pera.
Jabeur played in the Wimbledon and US Open finals in 2022 but lost in the first round at Roland Garros last year.
She has now reached the quarter-finals in all four Grand Slam events.
Seventh seed Jabeur, 28, will meet Brazilian 14th seed Beatriz Haddad Maia in the last eight after she eliminated Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo.
World number 36 Pera, also 28 and playing in her first Grand Slam last-16 match, struggled on Court Philippe Chatrier and did not hold serve at all.
Jabeur was not at her fluent best and was herself broken three times in the first set and at the start of the second set, but she raced through the final six games, sealing victory in 63 minutes.
“I wouldn’t say it was easy, it was very tough and I’m so happy. It took me three times to get to the quarter-finals and I’m very happy to make my best result here at the French Open,” Jabeur told Eurosport.
“Hopefully I can continue playing well and we will see what happens.”
Haddad Maia, 27, came back from a set down to win 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 7-5 in an epic encounter which lasted three hours and 51 minutes – the longest match on the WTA Tour in 2023.
Sorribes Tormo, ranked 132nd in the world, had gained a walkover win in the third round when Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina had to withdraw because of illness.
Haddad Maia was unable to convert three match points in the ninth game of the deciding set and then served for the match before having her serve broken to make it 5-5.
But she then won the next two games to complete the victory.
“I think the emotion was there for both of us,” said Haddad Maia. “I’m very happy and proud that I didn’t give up and pushed until my limit and I think I deserved it because of that.”
Sorribes Tormo, along with partner Marie Bouzkova, were involved in controversy on Sunday in their women’s doubles last-16 match as they won when opponent Miyu Kato hit a ball girl with a ball and the Japanese player and Indonesia’s Aldila Sutjiadi were disqualified.
Kato was initially given a warning by the umpire but after protests from Sorribes Tormo and Bouzkova, they were disqualified.