Ons Jabeur became the first Arab woman to win a WTA title on Sunday when the Tunisian beat Daria Kasatkina of Russia 7-5, 6-4 in Birmingham.
“I knew I had to go for it, I had to win this title to at least breathe and give an example,” said Jabeur, who had reached the finals of a WTA event twice before this.
“There’s not a lot of Tunisian or Arabic players playing, so I hope this could inspire them, and I want to see more Arab (players) and Tunisians playing with me on tour.”
Ons Jabeur: History Maker
The Tunisian trailblazer is the 1st Arab woman to:
– Win a junior Slam (2011 RG)
– Make a Slam 3R (2017 RG)
– Make a Slam QF (2020 AO)
– Win a WTA singles title (2021 Birmingham)
– Rank inside the Top 70 – Currently highest-ranked ever at No.24. pic.twitter.com/gRvu05P9nr
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) June 20, 2021
Jabeur, ranked 24 in the world, has been in fine form this season where she ranks alongside former world number one Ashleigh Barty in terms of matches (28) won.
Jabeur’s ascension since then has been steady and undeniable. At the 2019 Australian Open she became the first Arab woman to make a Slam quarterfinal.
She has made two Round of 16s since, both at Roland Garros. With her title in Birmingham, Jabeur has now established herself as a true threat on all three surfaces.
Oh my God 😱 thank youuuuu 🥰🥰🥰 https://t.co/2bsZp7QQoD
— Ons Jabeur (@Ons_Jabeur) June 20, 2021
“I have been waiting for this for a long, long time,” she told the WTA Insider.
“I am very proud that finally, the hard work is paying off and all the emotions from all the other finals are much better now. I can sleep happy tonight.”
Jabeur is one of the more crafty players on the women’s tour and doesn’t rely on power from the baseline alone. But the 26-year-old thinks she was not ‘born talented.’
“I’m not born talented, you know? I worked hard to be talented. That’s what most people don’t understand,” she added.
“They think I just picked up a racquet and then I knew how to make a forehand and backhand, which is not the case.
“To be talented, I played a lot of sports before. I played handball, football, a lot of things. That’s how I developed the touch and everything, you know?
“I’m not a 19-year-old winning a Grand Slam right away or something. I take my time and I’m really more and more patient over the years, which helped me a lot, not to focus on the negative and focus more on the positive.”