Tunisian third seed Ons Jabeur became the first Arab and African woman to reach a Grand Slam singles final as she beat German mother-of-two Tatjana Maria in the last four at Wimbledon.

Jabeur won 6-2 3-6 6-1 against 103rd-ranked Maria, who aimed to become the lowest-ranked woman to reach the final.

The pair are good friends but were rivals on Centre Court, sharing a long and loving embrace at the net.

Jabeur, 27, will face Simona Halep or Elena Rybakina in Saturday’s showpiece.

The contest between Romanian 16th seed Halep, the 2019 champion, and Kazakhstan’s Rybakina follows Thursday’s first semi-final at the All England Club.

Jabeur, ranked second in the world, reached her first major final with a hard-fought win over 34-year-old Maria, who the Tunisian describes as her “BBQ buddy” and has stayed with at her Florida home when she plays in Miami.

Maria only gave birth to her second child Cecilia last year, and has defied the odds in a remarkable run to the Wimbledon semi-finals.

But after fighting back to force a decider, Maria was unable to handle Jabeur’s improved level as her fairytale run ended.

“It is a dream come true after years and years of work and sacrifice,” said Jabeur.

“I’m really happy it is paying off and now there is one more match to come.”

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