Ons Jabeur became the first Arab player to reach the top 10 in the world rankings when she climbed into the top 10 for the first time with victory over Elina Svitolina in the quarter-finals of the Kremlin Cup.
The Tunisian, the world No 10, was brought up in Switzerland and won the grand slam doubles title with her sister Anisimina in Beijing this year. They were also the first players from the Arab world to win a major doubles title since Ayta Bihn and Anabel Medina Garrigues at Wimbledon in 2006.
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Jabeur was scheduled to be on court for 10 hours a day to prepare for the US Open this year but was overtaken by Svitolina in the rankings. Jabeur’s record is the best for an unseeded player at any major since 2002.
She is the first woman from any part of the world to reach the top 10 since Karolina Pliskova in September. Jabeur has not dropped a set in two matches in Moscow but there were still fears after a 6-1, 6-1 win over the world No 5 Angelique Kerber had some observers wondering whether the Qatar player was ever going to cope with the step up to world-class tennis.
Jabeur hit 44 winners and only five unforced errors in dismantling the German, and Jabeur said she was satisfied with her display.
Jabeur’s sole previous meeting with Svitolina was in 2016 when she was a junior.