Last year’s finalist Ons Jabeur is through to the second round after defeating Colombia’s Camila Osorio 7-5, 7-6. Jabeur was one of five former women’s finalists in action Tuesday, the others being Leylah Fernandez, Madison Keys, Vera Zvonareva, and Karolina Pliskova. Far from a clinical performance, Jabeur powered through her opponent and an apparent sickness to escape round one.
Jabeur fans will be pleased to see their favorite advance in the tournament but there is cause for concern. Outside of a shaky performance, Jabeur’s health seems questionable. During her match, Jabeur appeared out of breath and even had her blood pressure checked. It is unclear if Jabeur went into the match under the weather or if the symptoms arose during the match.
Jabeur will have a day off to hopefully beat the illness. Jabeur’s quest for a maiden grand slam title will resume against Czech youngster Linda Noskova. Many might not understand how difficult it is to play high-level tennis and overcome being sick. But Jabeur understands that even better now. At least she got sung “Happy birthday!” to.
Ons Jabeur overcomes more than opponent to move onto Round 2 of US Open
Elsewhere, 2021 finalist Leylah Fernandez fell to 22nd seed Ekaterina Alexandrova in three tight sets. The young Fernandez has struggled with form and fitness since her dream run to the US Open final two years ago, and was dealt a tough draw this year. Alexandrova is coming off a great grass court season and a runner up finish in Cleveland just a few days ago.
Former finalists Madison Keys, Karolina Pliskova and Vera Zvonareva still to come
2017 finalist Madison Keys begins her 2023 campaign against Arantxa Rus. Keys, who is also seeking her maiden major, is coming off a quarterfinal appearance at Wimbledon.
Former world number one and 2016 US Open finalist Karolina Pliskova will try and get her season back on track against Elena-Gabriela Ruse. Meanwhile, 2010 finalist Vera Zvonareva plays Yanina Wickmayer in a battle of veterans.