October 4, 2022

Ons Jabeur of Tunisia has become the first African and Arab female tennis player since 1968 to reach a Grand Slam singles tennis final. She did it at the Wimbledon tennis tournament.

The open or professional era of tennis began in 1968 and the Grand Slam tournaments are the biggest tournaments in the world – the US Open, Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon in the UK. Jabeur is also the highest ranked African and Arab player in Open Era history – currently second in the world.

On the court, Jabeur is a charismatic and beloved figure, also playing women’s doubles with American trailblazer Serena Williams. But nowhere is she more beloved than as a public figure at home in Tunisia, where she represents a new image for women’s sport.

Who is Ons Jabeur?

The tennis star was born on August 28, 1994 in Ksar Hellal, a small town in Tunisia. She comes from a middle class family and has two brothers and a sister. She began to learn about tennis at the age of three as her mother, an avid player, took her along when she played on the tennis courts of the hotels in the area.

Jabeur’s early success in sport led her to integrate into the Tunisian sport and study system, first in primary school at a tennis center promoting the sport, then at the academy. sports school, El Menzah, in the capital Tunis. Here, his game was gradually shaped.

Her first international career high came in 2011 when she won the Roland-Garros junior tournament. Her track record is particularly rich on the Women’s Tennis Association circuit – organized by the main international women’s professional tennis body. Jabeur won three singles tournaments and reached seven finals. In May 2022, her victory at the Madrid Open made her the first Tunisian, Arab and African player to win a WTA 1000 tournament.

Jabeur’s recent tournament successes in Rome and Berlin show a new level of skill and determination.

Women’s tennis legend Williams, who returns to competition in 2022 in doubles, has chosen Jabeur as her partner. Nicknamed “Onserena”, they performed together with great passion and joy, delighting viewers and social media alike. users.

Why Tunisia loves it

Tunisians affectionately call Jabeur the country’s “Minister of Happiness”. First, because we see her smile so often. Then because she is delighted with her repeated successes on the court. In Tunisia, young and old, men and women, are increasingly turning to television broadcasts to follow its matches live.

Hashtags like #OnsTounes and #DreamsComeTrue ignite on social networks, with images of Jabeur. Messages of love, admiration and pride are widely shared.

During the coronavirus pandemic, she raised funds to help buy medical equipment for Tunisia. It also raises funds for development centers like Talan Tunisie and schools.

Jabeur’s technical team is also Tunisian. Coach Issam Jellali is a former professional player. Her physical trainer is Karim Kamoun, a former professional fencer who is also her husband. Tunisie Telecom, the country’s telecommunications operator, is one of its main sponsors.

Thanks to Jabeur, there is a growing interest in women’s sport and female athletes in Tunisia and the Arab world. Images of men and football are no longer the only sporting images dominating the internet.

Changing the image of sport

In world tennis, Jabeur represents sportsmanship. During the Berlin Open final, her opponent Belinda Bencic injured her ankle. Jabeur had won, but his only concern was to hurry up and comfort Bencic and help prepare a cooler of ice cubes for his injury.

For Tunisians, she is an example of perseverance and success, a model for young people. The image of the sport changes with each of Jabeur’s international appearances. Tennis is no longer considered an elite game played by men.

In the era of globalized communication, she participates in the staging of an ongoing story – about Tunisian women and their growing visibility and influence. In the process, it gives visibility to Tunisia and to an entire continent with it.