Jabeur holds on to reach US Open semifinals

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NEW YORK — Fifth-seeded Ons Jabeur became the first woman representing an African nation to make the semifinals at the US Open during the professional era, holding on for a 6-4, 7-6 (4) victory over Ajla Tomljanovic on Tuesday at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“I know that I have it in me that I can win a Grand Slam,” Jabeur, from Tunisia, said after the match.

Tomljanovic, who eliminated Serena Williams in the third round, exchanged a lengthy hug at the net with Jabeur, who is a close friend, following the match.

“Just trying to do my job and hopefully I inspire more and more generations from Africa,” Jabeur said. “It really means a lot to me.”

Jabeur will next face the winner of the other women’s quarterfinal Tuesday between 18-year-old American Coco Gauff and Caroline Garcia of France in the night session.

The 28-year-old Jabeur apologized for throwing her racket at times during the match.

“I wanted to keep calm, but the racket kept slipping from my hands,” she said.

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