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Ons Jabeur is tapping into ‘new baby energy’ of Spanish clay consultant – Tennis365


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Ons Jabeur claims to be drawing on some of the new baby energy of former top 10 player Fernando Verdasco during her preparation for the Madrid Open.

Jabeur’s regular coach Issam Jellali couldn’t make the trip to Spain and the Tunisian put in a call to a good friend.

She is hoping that she can adopt the Spanish clay mentality in her bid to win the Madrid Open for a second time. Jabeur has endured a rollercoaster season this year and has also let herself down on the clay swing, where she has been very good before.

Jabeur had a tough battle on her hands when she faced Anna Karolína Schmiedlová in the round of 64 but she came through that encounter going on to face former Grand Slam finalist Leylah Fernandez in the round of 32.

After a recent spell marked by so many tears on court, Jabeur says that the vibe in Madrid is good and the mood in her camp has been bolstered by what she calls the new baby energy of Verdasco.

Verdasco’s wife, Ann Boyer – a TV personality in Spain, gave birth to the couple’s third child recently and Jabeur says that has only added to the buzz.

“I’m trying to get the Spanish mentality on the clay, apparently it’s not that bad to play with that,” Jabeur told reporters on Thursday.

“We’re close friends and he just had his third baby, so we’re having the energy of a new baby in the team. It’s nice to have him, I’ve always been a fan of him as a player, but also as a person because he has such amazing energy. He’s helping me this week, so hopefully we can have more matches together.”

Jabeur’s season has been hampered by a knee injury but if she is close to 100% she will be a threat to the Madrid title.

The world No 9 joked that she was due to win the tournament again owing to a back-and-forth between herself and two-time Madrid Open champion Aryna Sabalenka.

“I was joking with Aryna (Sabalenka), I was like, she won it in 2021, I won it in 2022, she won it in 2023, and I’m like, it’s time for me in 2024, it’s like back and forth, you know,” said Jabeur.

“I enjoy playing here, especially when I really find my rhythm because I feel like the small altitude here really helps.”

Jabeur will take on No 32 seed Fernandez during a Saturday schedule that will be packed with matches.

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