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Jabeur rides the punches to beat Sabalenka and reach Wimbledon final

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Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur celebrates reaching the final for a second straight year

Ons Jabeur showed that it is sometimes better to float like a butterfly than sting like a bee as her wily artistry overcame the brutal hitting of Aryna Sabalenka to reach her second Wimbledon final with a 6-7(5) 6-4 6-3 victory on Thursday.

Jabeur, who was beaten in last year’s final, looked destined to suffer more heartbreak on Centre Court when she lost the opening set, but her delicate strokeplay and clever angles eventually subdued the relentless power of Belarusian Sabalenka.

The victory set up a final between the Tunisian sixth seed and unseeded Czech Marketa Vondrousova, the former French Open finalist who ended the hopes of Ukrainian Elina Svitolina earlier on Thursday.

Jabeur, who also finished runner-up at last year’s U.S. Open, lost a tense first set tiebreak and fell 4-2 down in the second, but roared back with two breaks to level the contest.

She then got a decisive break to move 4-2 up in the third set and while the Tunisian passed up four match points, she finally got over the line with an ace.

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