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Ons Jabeur puts Africa on top of the world at Wimbledon

Jabeur Świątek

After eliminating the French Diane Parry, the Tunisian tennis player Ons Jabeur quite easily defeated the Belgian Elise Mertens and the Czech Marie Bouzkovà. In the semi-finals, she now has a chance to become the first African to win a Grand Slam tournament.

In London, the Tunisian tennis player Ons Jabeur continues to advance, during the Wimbledon tournament, one of the four Grand Slam tournaments. Already world number 2 in the WTA rankings since last week, Ons Jabeur is not very interested in points. However, she promises: “I will fight until the end because I really want the title”.

On Sunday, Ons Jabeur eliminated Belgian Elise Mertens with two winning sets (6-4, 7-6). She continued with a victory against the Czech Marie Bouzkovà, this Tuesday. After losing the first set, the Tunisian inflicted a double 6-1 on Bouzkovà.

She therefore continues to dominate her opponents and is now a semi-finalist. But what she wants above all is victory, and nothing else. Jabeur is already the first female tennis player from Tunisia, Africa and the MENA region to reach second place in the rankings or win a major tournament — she won Berlin and Madrid this season.

As for Wimbledon, with its qualification for the semi-final, it exceeds its own record: two quarter-finals at Wimbledon in 2021 and in Australia in 2020.

Next obstacle that will stand in front of Jabeur: the surprising Tatjana Maria. 103rd in the world, the player made it to the semi-finals, defying all predictions. On paper, the Tunisian should have no problem disposing of her opponent, but be careful. She will have to stay focused to hope to go to the final and hang up the wagon of Iga Natalia Świątek, world number 1.

Ons Jabeur, genius tennis player

In any case, the Tunisian “Minister of Happiness” declared on Sunday: “I enjoy falling down and getting up again. I would like to pass this message on to the next generations, not only in my country, but all over Africa”. And to continue: “I would like there to be more and more African players, that they believe in themselves more and more. I don't come from a wealthy family myself, and I've never looked for pretexts. You just have to be yourself and enjoy tennis”.

For information, outside of Tunisia, Ons Jabeur is very popular in Nigeria, where she had done a lot of training camps. In the Arab world too, as well as in France, where according to the team it would be the 3rd most followed sportswoman this year.

Off the courts, Jabeur is the standard-bearer of several causes. In Azerbaijan in 2013, they dropped out in the Baku quarter-finals as they approached a landslide victory. It was a sign of boycott of the next match which would have pitted her against Israeli Shahar Peer. The same scenario unfolded in 2020, during the BJK Cup.

Last April, Ons Jabeur criticized Wimbledon organizers for banning Russian players from taking part. She highlighted the criticism she faced for boycotting her games against Israeli players.

“I am sorry for the Palestinian people and the children who have been dying for 74 years. So I don't understand how it is now acceptable (for Wimbledon) to mix politics and sport,” she said.

A victory for Ons Jabeur at Wimbledon will therefore carry many messages. In any case, the rest of his London adventure will be greatly followed by tennis fans.

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