'An amazing win!': Expert reaction as Magda Linette stuns Ons Jabeur in huge upset in French Open first round
Alex Corretja praised Magda Linette as the unseeded Pole came from a set down to defeat Ons Jabeur 3-6 7-6 7-5 in the first round of the French Open. The Tunisian seemed to be in control of the contest as she raced into a 6-3 lead at the end of the first set, but Linette came roaring back with grit and determination to seal a big win.
'It is a surprise' - Corretja reacts to Linette shocking Jabeur at French Open
Speaking to Alize Lim, Corretja said: "[It was] an amazing win! Of course, [Linette was] very aggressive, [especially] in the beginning as the court was a little bit heavier and the clay was humid, so she could hit the ball as hard as she could, not making too many mistakes, and of course, even if Jabeur was leading, you could see that she was struggling, trying to move well, but it wasn’t easy for her and it’s a surprise.
"Yes, she won in Madrid and in Rome, but also Linette played well last week in Strasbourg where she lost to [Angelique] Kerber in the quarter-finals, 6-4 in the third."
The Spaniard chose not to criticise Jabeur, as the sixth seed had put up a gallant effort against a determined opponent. Instead, he thought that this match could be a vital learning curve for the Tunisian, citing the conditions as difficult to adapt to coming off the back of two tournaments where the surface was more in her favour.
"Madrid is very fast because of the altitude and Rome is usually fast as well, and it’s been fast here over the last few days, but today it was different. I’m not sure if [Jabeur] felt the pressure because you could see that she was very focused on the court, but at the same time when you play someone who is hitting so hard and so deep into your body, it’s difficult for you to create games and different positions on the court.
"So, it’s a big learning curve for her… and I think this match will help her in the future, learning how to handle these kinds of situations.
"I could see that for Jabeur it wasn’t easy to hit winners, and of course, she mixes up her game very well, but today the ball wasn’t bouncing as high, [which would] help her game because she can step into the court and then play a drop shot.
"Today it seemed like Linette was determined a little bit more; it was a very close match but at the end you could see the consistency that she had was growing as the match went on and that’s why she was winning because I was thinking maybe she won’t be solid enough, but she was!"
'I fought for every single point' - Linette reacts to shock win over Jabeur
Linette herself was all smiles as she gave her post-match interview, acknowledging the fierce battle that she had just endured, and the competitive fight of Jabeur to remain in the game and keep the pace.
‘Yeah, I mean, I had so many tough matches with her last year, I lost to her [at Roland-Garros] in the third round so I knew how difficult it would be and I saw how well she was playing, and I had to be focused to win every point.
"[I had to] try and make her uncomfortable and I’m just happy I managed to fight for every single point."
Watch shock moment Linette upsets Jabeur at French Open
When asked about her leg injury, sustained midway through the match, the Pole spoke of her determination to remain focused on the task at hand.
"I just tried to focus on different things and shift my attention to playing faster… with the speed of my racquet being much faster than the first set, not paying attention to my leg too much. [I tried] to put Ons in a situation where she couldn’t move me as much."
With perhaps the win of her career, this result takes Linette into the second round of Roland-Garros for the fourth time, where she will face the winner of Britain's Harriet Dart or Italian Martina Trevisan.
'Wow, good strike!' - Jabeur kicks ball out of court in frustration
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