PARIS (Reuters) – Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur could not hide her disappointment after a shock loss on Sunday in the French Open first round although she vowed not to let it ruin her stellar results on clay this season.
Jabeur was the second favourite behind top-ranked Iga Swiatek to lift the Suzanne Lenglen Cup, having arrived in Paris with a tour-leading 17 wins on clay including her Madrid Open triumph and runner-up finishes in Rome and Charleston.
She got off to a strong start against after kicking off the opening day’s play on the main showcourt at Roland Garros but was unable to stave off a fightback from Magda Linette, going down to the Pole 3-6 7-6(4) 7-5.
“I’m pretty positive person, to be honest with you, I’m not going to let a match like this ruin it,” Jabeur told reporters.
“But, obviously I was expecting better but maybe it’s a good thing for me to reflect good on this match and we say maybe something happens bad because there is something good happening in the future.
“I don’t know, hopefully the grass season, hopefully Wimbledon, I don’t know, but, yeah, definitely great time to reflect and to see what’s going to happen next.”
Jabeur, at her career-best ranking of sixth, had lost only the first of her four matches against Linette back in 2013. She defeated the Pole in the third round of the 2021 French Open and at Miami this year.
The Tunisian said she should have been more aggressive in the second and third sets against an opponent ranked 56th before the start of the claycourt major.
“She was playing (like) top 20 and she had nothing to lose today,” Jabeur added. “I didn’t necessarily play a bad match, but I should have used my experience a little bit more and I should have been a bit more present.”
(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Ed Osmond)