Ons Jabeur sharpens quest to inspire more Arab women to take up tennis | Tennis News – Times of India


PARIS: Ons Jabeur‘s long-stated aim is that her historic exploits on courtroom result in extra Arab ladies taking over tennis — changing into the primary Arab participant to win a Grand Slam in subsequent month’s French Open last would do wonders to attain that.
The 27-year-old Tunisian turned a front-rank contender for tennis’s biggest prize on clay along with her gutsy three-set victory over American Jessica Pegula in Madrid on Saturday.
In doing so the participating and extremely expressive Jabeur wrote one other piece of tennis historical past.
Her 7-5, 0-6, 6-2 victory made her the primary Arab or African lady to win a WTA 1000 title.
Her title in Birmingham final yr was the primary for an Arab lady participant on the circuit and he or she is the primary Arab participant — man or lady — to crack the highest 10.
Certainly she is going to return to her earlier highest rating of seven on Monday.
With a tour-leading 12 victories on clay thus far this season — and with Australia’s world primary Ashleigh Barty having retired — the omens appear constructive for her.
Nevertheless, she has one other glass ceiling to crack in reaching the final 4 of a Grand Slam for the primary time — so she has two quarter-finals to her credit score in Australia in 2020 and Wimbledon final yr.
Jabeur — the junior champion at Roland Garros in 2011 — is, although, armed with a robust weapon other than her strokeplay.
“Positively all these matches I’ve received on clay will give me a number of confidence,” she mentioned as she absorbed her Madrid victory.
“If you’re assured like that and also you win a number of matches, I feel I ought to take this chance to go, like, actually ahead and win.”
Jabeur admits to not watching a lot tennis when she was rising up and it was her husband Karim Kamoun who was extra “obsessed by Roland Garros.”
Kamoun was readily available in Madrid — he planted a kiss on her cheek courtside after her triumph — as had been her siblings and the pinnacle of the Tunisian tennis federation to see her momentous win.
Jabeur welcomes such consideration however she wish to see extra firm within the locker room on the tour as Arab feminine gamers have been a rarity. Her compatriot Selima Sfar reached a profession excessive of 75 on this planet in 2001 however there was little progress for different Arab ladies gamers till Jabeur got here on the scene.
“Being the one Arab just isn’t simple to be on tour proper now,” she mentioned at Wimbledon final yr.
“I simply wish to say if I did it (succeed on tour), it isn’t not possible.
“Like I mentioned earlier than, I all the time attempt to encourage different generations.”
Jabeur’s favorite participant of all time is America’s three-time Wimbledon finalist and 2003 US Open champion Andy Roddick — however it’s Morocco’s four-time Grand Slam quarter-finalist Hicham Arazi who has been her function mannequin.
Jabeur mentioned simply as Arazi impressed her, so she hopes she will be able to do the identical for Arab ladies.
“Actually, he actually impressed me, and I’m attempting to do the identical right here,” she mentioned.
“I wish to see how French individuals are collectively (on tour), Individuals, Australians, and I really feel like I wish to see this, you recognize, with my nation.
“It would not matter, Tunisia or Egypt or Morocco, I actually wish to see increasingly more gamers.”
Even earlier than her nice run at Wimbledon final yr, Jabeur’s pressure of character and expertise had already satisfied others, together with American legend Venus Williams, that she is going to obtain her aim.
“You are gonna see a complete different technology of ladies from North Africa coming into tennis,” mentioned Williams.
“It should be all owed to her.”


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