Ons Jabeur n the second round of Wimbledon 2023, UK
Ons Jabeur n the second round of Wimbledon 2023, UK | (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Tennis | Wimbledon 2023 | Day Five Talking Points: Ons Jabeur meets David Beckham as Matteo Berrettini opens up about setbacks

By Tony Fairbairn At Wimbledon

  • Ons Jabeur spoke about meeting David Beckham as the Tunisian reached the third round of Wimbledon
  • Matteo Berrettini opened up about his previous setbacks after reaching the third round
  • Daniil Medvedev speaks about grass court improvement while Aryna Sabalenka struggled through
LONDON, ENGLAND – On the fifth day of Wimbledon, SW19 brought Ons Jabeur meeting David Beckham as well as Matteo Berrettini opening up on his previous setbacks as both players reached the third round.


Browse the Britwatch Sports Amazon Page for our latest Tennis Equipment recommendations


Jabeur meets Beckham, previews Andreescu clash

Embed from Getty Images

Our day five talking points start with last year’s finalist Ons Jabeur who only dropped two games against Zhuoxuan Bai to reach the third round. The Tunisian was in fine form as she secured a place in the last 32 for the second consecutive year.

However possibly the best thing about day five for Jabeur was meeting footballing legend David Beckham and after her win the Tunisian spoke about meeting the former Manchester United star.

“Such an amazing person. I was really looking forward to meet him,” Jabeur explained in her press conference.

“We’ve been trying to organize this for a long time. Very happy that I spoke to him. Hopefully will meet him again. We talked about football, about his daughter, tennis in general. Him maybe watching a couple matches in U.S. So let’s see.”

Jabeur will look to take inspiration from Beckham as she will now face Bianca Andreescu for a place in the second week. The Tunisian spoke about Andreescu’s game and the challenges that she faces on Saturday.

“She can be aggressive. She can change up the rhythm,” Jabeur said.

“I’m just going to try to take time from her. We can have a similar game because I know she likes to do some dropshots, she likes to slice a bit. We actually have practiced together, so it’s a good thing for me I guess. I haven’t watched her matches honestly, but I’m going to speak more to my coach and see what we can do.”

Meanwhile Andreescu spoke about Jabeur’s variety and the fact that the Canadian is slowly getting back to the form from when she won the US Open in 2019.

“Yeah, I definitely feel like a match like this can definitely get me back to, I guess, that mindset. It’s definitely very satisfying, so I’m very, very pleased,” Andreescu admitted.

“But, you know, every day is different. You never know what you’re going to get. But having a match like this just puts me back in those feelings. You know, psychologically it’s good to continue to experience those, because, you know, the more you experience something, the easier it is to kind of get back into that way of things.

“She has a lot of variety in her game. She’s a fighter. She’s been through a lot in her career. She’s definitely, if I play her, she’s not going to give it to me easy. I look up to her as well off the court.

“She speaks a lot about women’s tennis and women’s rights, which I appreciate very much. But yeah, I definitely think it’s going to be a good match and hopefully on a bigger court.”

It definitely will take place on a much bigger court as the match will be second on Centre Court on Saturday.


Berrettini opens up about setbacks

Embed from Getty Images

Now onto another finalist as Matteo Berrettini is back in form as an impressive win over Alex De Minaur sees him into the third round. It’s been a difficult road for the Italian having suffered injuries as well as missing last year’s event due to COVID.

After the match Berrettini detailed what he went through last year and why the victory over De Minaur was so important.

“Last year, what happened last year is something that I think it didn’t heal yet,” Berrettini said in his press conference.

“It’s a really sharp pain, if I think about it. I probably was in the best shape in my career, especially feeling great on grass. I wanted to enjoy the tournament. Such a special tournament for me. Not being able to play was something that, even when I was better physically, was really tough mentally to overcome.

“That’s why I’m here this year, because I missed last year. I was really sad. Even playing like few points would have been good this year. Yeah, that’s why I’m really happy. I’m really glad. I know it’s third round, but it feels like way more.”

However Berrettini didn’t go through the mental struggles on his own as he revealed that his friends and family were a big help on his road to recovery.

“Yeah, it’s a matter of many people that are around you, your family, your team, yourself mostly. It’s something that hits you sometimes,” Berrettini explained.

“We have a weird, weird schedule, weird career, which you never really going to stop. I remember I pulled out from here. I was like a week home, the house that I rented. Then I was, Okay, I’m going to practice on clay because I want to play in Gstaad. You don’t actually have the time to really think about it.

“I remember I was really sad. When I was injured at the end of the year, it got me again. I stopped and realized I missed a slam again. Many people helped me. At the end I think has to be something from yourself inside when you’re tired of being sad, you’re going to do something about it.”

There are no sad thoughts for Berrettini this time around as he now looks forward to a third round meeting with Alexander Zverev on Saturday.



Sabalenka struggles through as Bencic overcomes frustration to reach second week

Embed from Getty Images

Next it’s onto Aryna Sabalenka, who almost went out of Wimbledon but came from a set down to defeat Varvara GrachevaSpeaking after the match Sabalenka admitted she didn’t play her best tennis but she is glad she found her rhythm.

“Yeah, I didn’t play my best tennis. It was really crazy, crazy experience,” Sabalenka stated.

“But then I change my strings, kind of adjust my game a little bit, start feeling better on court. But, yeah, I was just keep telling myself keep fighting, keep trying, and probably you’ll be able to turn around this game. Yeah, super tough one and super happy to get this win.

“Well, I was just keep trying to fight, keep trying to find my rhythm. I think in the second set I start feeling better. Kind of I felt like everything is kind of under my control. Then in the third set I was just going for my shots. I mean, I felt like I came back in the match. I start feeling better. I was just going for my shots.”

Sabalenka will hope to improve her level when she takes on Anna Blinkova for a spot in the last 16. Meanwhile Belinda Bencic is already into the second week where she will face world number one Iga Swiatek on Sunday.

After her win over Magda Linette, Bencic admitted it has been a frustrating last couple of months after splitting with Dmitry Tursunov as well as dealing with injuries.

“Yeah, of course it’s very frustrating, but I still think my confidence level is up there because I really had a great start to the season and then simply just couldn’t play,” Bencic said.

“Of course I tried the best to get healthy as soon as possible. I mean, I missed a few tournaments, but it’s not the end of the world. It’s not like it has been a really long injury. So I’m happy to be back playing, especially here in Wimbledon.”


Medvedev explains adjustments made to grass

Embed from Getty Images

Finally, Daniil Medvedev is finally enjoying his tennis on grass after he reached the third round of Wimbledon. After losing to Adrian Mannarino in s-Hertogenbosch, Medvedev earned his revenge with a straight sets win.

Medvedev explained what adjustments he has made to be successful on grass after his win over the Frenchman.

“I think for me, the main adjustment is the rhythm. As I say, when someone plays good on grass, it’s tough to return back the shots because they can sometimes slide through the court, sometimes stop,” Medvedev said.

“Give him an easy ball to work with. Some players work well with easy balls. This match exactly with Adrian, I managed to be the one who I think was giving him trouble playing long, strong, then sometimes mixing up with the dropshots, even going to the net maybe more often. That’s what I want to try to continue to do on grass, being the one who controls the game more than my opponent.”

Medvedev will look to continue his success on grass when he takes on Marton Fucsovics on Saturday.



How to Watch/Follow Wimbledon 2023

TV Across BBC Channels & Red Button
Live Stream BBC Sport


Sign up to PBLC for free to support ongoing contributions from Britwatch Sports