Tunisian tennis star Ons Jabeur addicted to records

Tunisian tennis star Ons Jabeur is hoping to become the first African woman to win a Grand Slam singles title.

She’s known as the “Minister of Happiness” back home in Tunisia and Ons Jabeur hopes she can live up to that moniker by becoming the first African woman to win a Grand Slam singles title – and where better to achieve that feat than Wimbledon. .

“It would mean a lot to me, to my family, to my country, just to keep proving… that nothing is impossible and if you put your mind to it, you can achieve it,” Jabeur, who plays grass-court major at a second-place finish in the career standings, told reporters after reaching the last 16.

“Everyone follows me, expecting me to do better and better. I hope I continue to be that person who gives them what they expect. I’m just trying my best to break records, to really pave the way for the next generation.”

At 27, Jabeur assumed the role of pioneer.

She became the first Arab woman to win a WTA title when she triumphed in Birmingham in 2021.

She followed that by becoming the first African and Arab player to win a 1000m tournament, which is the level below the slams, in Madrid this year.

And when she climbed to second place in the rankings on Monday, she became the highest-ranked African and Arab tennis player in history.

Jabeur said the Birmingham breakthrough had given her real confidence.

“This title gave me a great path. I had been waiting for this one for a long time. I knew I could always play well on grass – any other surface. Just like the wait was over,” said declared the third seed after settling. a fourth-round showdown with Belgium’s Elise Mertens.

“I wanted to be in the top 10, and then I got there. I wanted to win more titles, and that always comes.”

While there’s no doubt that her list of firsts will continue to grow, Jabeur believes none of this would have been possible if she hadn’t teamed up with her coach Issam Jellali.

“Believing in my game was a bit difficult at first because I couldn’t find the coach who could push me to believe in my game more,” she said.

“There’s always something wrong, they don’t want me to do this or that. Then I surrounded myself with great people, a coach who always believed in me… you keep failing, then you rise at some point.”


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