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Wimbledon semis: ‘BBQ buddies’ Ons Jabeur, Tatjana Maria to clash

Ons Jabeur is into her first Wimbledon final. (Frey/TPN/Getty Images)

The semifinals at Wimbledon are set after a whirlwind quarterfinal round.

Simona Halep, Elena Rybakina, Ons Jabeur and Tatjana Maria have all advanced to the second-to-last round, with at least one of the quartet set to make their first Slam final.

Halep is the lone Grand Slam champion of the group, having won Wimbledon in 2019. Third-seeded Ons Jabeur, meanwhile, is in her first Grand Slam semifinal, as are Rybakina and Maria.

The first semifinal match between Jabeur and Maria will make history. At age 34 and the No. 104 seed, Maria could become the lowest-seeded player to reach the final at Wimbledon. If Jabeur were to make the final, the Tunisian would become the first Arab and North African woman to make the final at a Slam.

Jabeur is coming off of a three-set win over Marie Bouzkova, 3-6, 6-1 6-1. Maria, meanwhile, beat her German countrywoman Jules Niemeier 4-6, 6-2, 7-5.

The match, though, is also a semifinal between friends. Jabeur has earned the title “Aunt Ons” from from Maria’s daughters Charlotte and Cecilia. On the flip side, Jabeur calls Maria her “BBQ buddy.”

“I was joking with Charlotte, I was telling her, ‘Are you going to support me or your mom?’ I’m trying to turn all the kids to my side, using the family!” Jabeur said during her post match press conference. “Maybe [we’ll] not be friends for two hours or, I don’t know how long the match will go, and be friends again at the end.”

It’s the first time in four years that the duo has faced off. Jabeur holds the edge, having won two matches against Maria while the 34-year-old has won just one.

Halep, meanwhile, is riding a 12-match win streak at Wimbledon into her third semifinal at the Slam and taking on No. 17 Rybakina. Halep is coming off of a straight-set win over Amanda Anisimova, 6-2, 6-4.

She’s beaten Rybakina in their previous two matches, although by a mere handful of points. Rybakina, meanwhile, needed three sets to beat Ajila Tomljanovic, 6-4, 2-6, 3-6.

Both matches will take place starting at 8 a.m. ET Thursday on ESPN.