I’m glad my husband let me hug him – Ons Jabeur relished David Beckham meeting
Last year’s runner-up Ons Jabeur thanked her husband for allowing her to hug David Beckham as she made it through to the third round at Wimbledon.
The Tunisian met the former England captain, whom she idolises, on Wednesday during his visit and shared an embrace before a brief chat.
Jabeur described the meeting as inspiring and it might have played a part in her 6-1 6-1 thumping of China’s Bai Zhuoxuan on Court One.
She said: “It has been a pleasure meeting him, he is such a nice guy and very polite and I am glad my husband let me give him a hug.
“He’s such an amazing person. I was really looking forward to meeting him. We’ve been trying to organise this for a long time.
“Don’t tell my husband that, but yes, I did enjoy that hug, and the very nice conversation with him.
“I love to meet those athletes because I believe I can learn a lot from him. Hopefully I can meet many more.”
Jabeur has targeted another sporting star to help her out after also meeting American skier Lyndsey Vonn.
“I met Lyndsey Vonn, as you know we ski a lot in Tunisia!” she joked. “I would love to try skiing, I know it is very dangerous. I have never skied in my life so hopefully Lyndsey will teach me.”
Jabeur is joined in the third round by second seed Aryna Sabalenka while world number one Iga Swiatek booked her fourth-round spot.
Sabalenka had to do things the hard way after needing three sets to beat Varvara Gracheva.
The Belarusian put her victory down to a release of frustration in the second set, when she screamed loudly on Court One.
She said after her 2-6 7-5 6-2 win: “I was little bit crazy in that moment.
“I mean, I can’t throw my racquet on the grass, so I felt like at least I need to scream, kind of lose it a little bit.
“After that I felt a little bit better. I felt a little relief inside.
“I felt like I started thinking a little bit better.”
Swiatek equalled her best run at SW19 with a straight-sets win over Petra Martic.
Paula Badosa had to awkwardly inform a reporter she had lost her second-round match after a back injury ended her campaign.
The Spaniard was forced to retire when trailing 6-2 1-0 to Marta Kostyuk after her troublesome stress fracture flared up and she revealed she will not be able to play the mixed doubles with her boyfriend Stefanos Tsitsipas.
To add insult to injury, news of her fitness struggles on Court 18 had clearly not reached an international reporter, who opened her post-match press conference by congratulating her on her victory, prompting a toe-curling exchange.
Responding to the opening comment, Badosa simply replied: “I lost.”
The reporter did not acknowledge her answer and asked her to talk about her fitness and confidence level, to which she replied: “For your information, I just lost. I didn’t win. So, yeah.”
The moderator then again informed the journalist Badosa had lost, which was received by surprise.
History was made in the battle between Lesia Tsurenko and Ana Bogdan as they produced a 38-point tie-breaker – the most in a women’s grand slam.
It came in the deciding set and Tsurenko prevailed, winning 4-6 6-3 7-6 (18).
Viktoria Azarenka and Elina Svitolina will pair up in a mouthwatering fourth-round match after they both won.
Azarenka beat 11th seed Daria Kasatkina 6-2 6-4 while Svitolina ended Sofia Kenin’s resurgence with a 7-6 (3) 6-2 success.
Fourth seed Jessica Pegula also eased through.