Tunisian player Anas Jaber’s preparations for the Australian Open suffered a “setback”, after suffering a back injury, forcing her to withdraw from her match against Estonian Anett Kontaveit in the quarter-finals of the Sydney Tennis Tournament.
The Estonian won the close first set 6-4, before Jaber requested a medical time-out, and after a lengthy treatment with a lower back injury, the Tunisian announced her withdrawal from completing the match.
Jaber’s injury, days before the start of the Australian Open, the first of the four grand slams, is considered a setback, as she was counting on following up on her strong performances that witnessed her winning her first professional titles, as she entered the ranking of the top ten players in the world, a historic achievement for the Arab player.
On the other hand, Kontaveit will face the Czech Republic’s fourth-ranked Barbora Krajicekova and French Open champion in the last four, after defeating Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia 6-0, 6-2.
“It’s not the way you want to win at all,” Kontaveit said. “I really hope that Anas will be fine next week, and it will not be too dangerous.”
“The first set was really competitive, we had some tough matches before and she was always ahead, so it was good to win the set, and I was playing the way I was playing.”
Kontaveit is among the serious candidates to compete for the first Grand Slam title this year, after she performed strongly in the second half of last season, winning four titles within two months, before ending the year by occupying the runner-up position in the W Championship. TA» behind the Spanish Garbine Mugurosa.
But she will clash in the semi-finals with a player who has recently reached the top of her level, Krajchikova, especially after winning the Roland Garros tournament, in addition to the Strasbourg and Prague tournaments.
For her part, third-ranked Mugurosa will face her Russian counterpart Daria Kasatkina later in the quest to reach the semi-finals.
The last four contract will be completed when the other Spaniard, fifth seed Paula Padusa, meets Tokyo Olympic champion Belinda Bencic of Switzerland.
In the men’s competition, Russian Aslan Karatsev defeated Italian Lorenzo Sonego 6-2, 3-6, 6-2, to reach the semi-finals, while veteran British star Andy Murray crossed easier.
Murray, who will participate in the Australian Open on a wild card, returned to the dressing room after one set, after his Belgian opponent, David Goffin, withdrew due to injury, knowing that Murray won the first set 6-2.
Former world number one Murray will face Riley Opelka for a place in the final, after the latter defeated fellow American Brandon Nakashina by two straight sets.