Madrid Open: Ons Jabeur makes history as first African women to claim Masters title

Ons Jabeur has taken a giant leap for women's tennis in Africa with her historic first WTA 1000 title at the Madrid Open on Saturday.

Tunisia's Ons Jabeur made history as the first African and first Arab woman to win an ATP 1000 Masters title when she overcame Jessica Pegula in the Madrid Open final.

Jabeur believed that her serving power would be less of a factor on clay than when she beat Pegula in Dubai earlier this season and proved correct.

Although she sent down five aces Jabeur found herself under pressure on serve throughout the match.

Pegula was accurate on her serve but was also consistently troubled by Jabeur and faced break points in the opening games of each set.

Ons Jabeur thrills in maiden WTA 1000 tournament win

Jabeur took the Madrid crowd on a rollercoaster journey as she fought back from 4-1 down in the first set to claim it 7-5 before being handed a bagel in the second set.

After claiming an early break in the decisive set Jabeur loooked set to ease to victory but serving for the match at 5-2 she went 0-30 down.

The eighth seed would dig deep though and after securing a match point, immediately converted to clinch a 7-5, 0-6, 6-2 win and the Madrid Open title.

"[Pegula] was really good, putting a lot of pressure, playing kind of the game that I don't like," Jabeur said after her victory. "As soon as I was 30-0 down on my serve [in the last game], I was like, 'Of course you want to make it tougher. Of course you want to suffer here. You don't want to just finish an easy game.'

"When I had the match point, I was like I had to win it from the beginning, otherwise it's going to be very tough for me. But I'm very happy and trying to realize that I won today, really."

Sweet relief

Jabeur had little to show for some great form to start the clay court season having reached the final in Charleston only to lose to Belinda Bencic and then reached the last eight in Stuttgart.

She would avenge that defeat to Bencic on her way to the final and lifted the Madrid Open trophy in what is a special moment for women's tennis in Tunisia and Africa as a whole.

"I'm so happy that I didn't wait long [for the title], because I was really disappointed after Charleston and Stuttgart," Jabeur said. "I was really close and I know I was playing really good there. But I have been doing a lot of hard work to see that it's paying off. I cannot describe how I feel right now."

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