WILL EVANS’ daily preview serves up Wimbledon tips for new tournament favourite Ons Jabeur’s fourth-round date with the seasoned Elise Mertens.
01:30 (AEST), Mon 4th Jul @ All England Club, Wimbledon
History: Played 1: Mertens 1 V Jabeur 0
Last meeting: FUS Open, 2021 (R32): Mertens d Jabeur 6-3 7-5
Final Thoughts: Ons Jabeur has moved to the top line of Wimbledon title betting following world No.1 Iga Swiatek’s shock third-round exit. The third seed has been in blistering form – but Elise Mertens will provide stiff resistance in the Round of 16.
Jabeur won the German Open in June in an ideal build-up for a Wimbledon tilt and has barely missed a beat at the All England Club. The 27-year-old has dismantled Mirjam Bjorklund (6-1 6-3), Katarzyna Kawa (6-4 6-0) and Diane Parry (6-2 6-3) in relentless style.
A quarter-finalist at the 2020 Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2021, Tunisia’s Jabeur is $3 to go all the way and claim her maiden grand slam title.
Experienced Belgian Mertens attracted little pre-tournament buzz and remains among the least-fancied Wimbledon hopes. She battled past Camila Osorio and Panna Udvardy in three-setters in the opening two rounds. But the 24th seed made a sizeable statement by upsetting 15th seed and former Wimbledon champ Angelique Kerber 6-4 7-5.
The 26-year-old was an Australian Open semi-finalist in 2018 and reached the US Open quarters in 2019 and ’20.
Mertens can also claim the psychological edge of eliminating Jabeur from the third round of last year’s US Open 6-3 7-5 – the pair’s only previous meeting.
But Jabeur has performed on a higher plane in recent weeks and her vast array of shots, combined with seemingly unshakeable confidence, should carry her to victory.