Ons Jabeur (R) holds the trophy after winning her women's singles final match against Diana Shnaider (L) at the WTA Ningbo Open tennis tournament in Ningbo, China, on Saturday. AFP
The seventh-ranked Jabeur, a three-time Grand Slam finalist, saved her best performance of the tournament for the final and raced to victory in 78 minutes.
"I felt tactically I played very well, I had an advantage in that I had more experience than her to manage certain points,” Jabeur said. "Playing a final here is more relaxed than playing a Grand Slam final, but I think it will help me gain confidence more, and to help me manage the pressure and stress.”
The Tunisian had 18 winners to only 10 unforced errors, while saving all three break points she faced, denying the 19-year-old Shnaider any chance to get a foothold in the match.
Ons Jabeur hits a return against Vera Zvonareva (not pictured) during the women's singles quarter-final match in Ningbo. AFP
This was 85th-ranked Shnaider's first career final in just her ninth WTA tournament main draw. One year ago, she was ranked No. 220 and beginning her freshman year at North Carolina State.
At the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, second-seeded Jessica Pegula's impressive week continued as the American surged to a 6-2, 6-3 victory over fourth-seeded Maria Sakkari in the semifinals.
Pegula has lost just nine games in her three matches and will meet eighth-seeded Veronika Kudermetova in Sunday’s final.
"When you’re top-ranked, I think it just depends on how you play that day and how you execute your game plan, and some days it’s better than others,” Pegula said. "I think the faster courts here probably help me a little more than the slower surfaces I’ve played her in the past, so I tried to take advantage of that.”
"I really work hard to get to this Court as this was my first appearance. I have had very good preparation for the matches. I still feel that I have more stamina and improving with every match. I hope this preparation will continue,” the Czech star said.
Top-seeded Anastasia Zolotareva eased her way to a 6-3, 6-3 win against Nina Danisova, while second seed Anastasia Kulikova had it easy with a 5-7, 6-3, 10-6 lop-sided win over Alena Fomina-Klotz.
"I don't know what to say. It's a dream come true from years of work and sacrifice. I'm happy that's paid off and I'll continue for one more match," Jabeur told the crowd.
Marri appreciated the efforts made by the members of the national team in preparation for the Asian Championships and extended his thanks to the federation’s Board of Directors.
The Green Shirts won the first two matches against the Kiwis by 7 wickets and 10 runs, respectively, becoming the first Asian team to win the T20 series in New Zealand. The Nida Dar-led side lost the third match by just six runs via the DLS method.
Mohamed Salah scored his 200th goal for Liverpool before Harvey Elliott's last-gasp winner sealed a dramatic 2-1 victory against Crystal Palace that sent the Reds to the top of the Premier League on Saturday.