Ons Jabeur faces Paula Badosa in the Indian Wells semi-final tomorrow and the pair have become involved in a light-hearted war of words.
Jabeur has made history this week by becoming the first Arab player to reach the top 10 of the world rankings.
The 27-year-old has won 48 games this season –– more than any other player on tour.
And having beaten Estonia’s Anett Kontaveir in straight sets, the Tunisian star has reached the last four of a WTA 1000 tournament for the first time.
“This is a dream come true,” Jabeur said. "Top 10 I know is the beginning. I know I deserve this place from a long time since I was playing well. But I want to prove that I deserve to be here, I deserve to be one of the top 10 players."
Jabeur’s opponent is rising star Badosa, who reached the semi-finals with a win against Germany’s Angelique Kerber. The Spaniard has been in fine form at this event, having already defeated Coco Gauff and French Open champion Barbora Krejčíková.
The 23-year-old also won her first WTA title earlier this year at the Serbia Open and reached the semi-final of the Madrid Open as well.
Badosa and Jabeur are close friends and will meet for a spot in the biggest final of their careers to date.
Ahead of the game, both players have made hilarious comments about the other, which has delighted fans on Twitter.
Speaking in her post-match press conference after her quarter-final win, Jabeur joked that she wanted Badosa’s last-eight tie to go on as long as possible.
“I hope Badosa and Kerber play for five hours,” she said.
Badosa responded to these comments with a playful remark of her own –– proclaiming how she hoped Jabeur “eats a lot of burgers and she cannot play.”
The two continued the conversation online, with Badosa responding to the WTA quoting her comment on Twitter with a laughing face emoji before Jabeur wrote: “Did you receive the burgers I sent you?”
Fans loved the interaction between the pair. One user said: “So refreshing and lovely. The new gen of tennis is so refreshing—contrary to older times where the energy was so cold and awkward.”
Another wrote: “Love both players, a breath of fresh air, sad one has to lose,” while a third put: “Lovely banter exchanged in the best of spirits!! Love it.”
In the other semi-final, Victoria Azarenka plays Jeļena Ostapenko. Both players are Grand Slam winners but have struggled in recent years.
With none of the top 10 seeds in the final four, the women’s tour is once again showing its strength of competition.News Now - Sport News