Ons Jabeur is a Tunisian professional tennis player, who became the first Arab player to be ranked in the world’s top 10, reached the grand slam quarter-final at the 2020 Australian Open, and won a WTA 1000 event. She is making headlines globally and is an inspiration for Arab and African men and women. Let’s examine her early years and professional career.
About Ons Jabeur
Ons Jabeur is currently the #1 Tunisian tennis player and is the highest-ranked African and Arab tennis player in WTA and ATP ranking history. She has had a successful career and won three WTA Tour titles, 11 singles titles, and one doubles title on the ITF Women’s Circuit.
Her career is an example of trailblazing, history-making, and holder of many firsts, inspiring aspiring tennis players and women around the globe.
Ons Jabeur was born in a small town in Tunisia. She has two older brothers and one older sister. She was introduced to tennis at the age of three. This passion was passed down from her mother, who played recreational tennis and always wanted to become a professional tennis player.
According to Ons Jabeur, “Since I was the youngest of my brothers and sisters, she took me with her to the tennis club. I saw her playing, and then I grabbed the rackets. I wanted to play also. And I was a troublemaker. She had to let me do something to be quiet. I wanted my mom to put me like a member then and let me play.”
Jabeur started training with her teacher Nabil Mlika when she was four years old. She later relocated to Tunis to study and play tennis there. She later received training in France and Belgium to broaden her knowledge.
Ons Jabeur started her professional career at the age of 14. In 2009, she played her first-ever event at the ITF Women’s Circuit and finished as a runner-up in both the singles and doubles at a $10K tournament. She later progressed to $25K and $50K levels in the summer of 2011.
She competed in the first two WTA main draws in 2012 and lost her opening match to Virginie Razzano. She did not have much success in 2012, and at the end of the year, she was rated #260 globally.
In 2013, Jabeur won her first $25K title and then scored back-to-back victories at the $50K titles, bringing her into the top 200 for the first time. She also played her second WTA main draw but lost in the quarterfinals.
In 2015, she reached her career-best ranking of 118 and continued to play WTA and ITF events.
In 2017, Jabeur participated, for the first time, in all four Grand Slam singles events and brought her ranking up to #137. Jabeur won two main-draw matches at the French Open and made her top-100 debut.
Ons Jabeur maintained her top-100 streak for two more years after reaching the top 50 in 2020 by becoming the first Arab woman to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal. Overall, it was a good year for Jabeur as she finished it with a ranking of #31.
In 2021, she reached the top 10 ranking by winning her first WTA title at Birmingham and became the first Arab tennis player to reach the top 10 in either ATP or WTA rankings history.
In 2022, Jabeur reached her highest-ever ranking of #2 by making it into the Wimbledon finals and winning the WTA 1000 title.
Coach And Playing Style
From the age of 3 to 13, Jabeur was coached by Nabil Mlika. She later started working with Bertrand Perret and described him as a coach that understood her playing style. According to Jabeur, “I think he understands my game. He tries to improve my good shots, not change what I do.”
Currently, she is coached by Issam Jellali, a former Tunisian Davis Cup player.
Ons Jabeur has a very diverse playing style and enjoys playing challenging shots, which she refers to as “crazy shots.” Forehand and volleys are her preferred shots. She enjoys playing on all surfaces and also likes slice and drop strokes.
Ons Jabeur has undoubtedly experienced a number of high points throughout her career, and it does not appear that she will be slowing down any time soon. As the highest-ranked African and Arab player, Ons Jabeur continues to serve as an example to many via her perseverance and commitment.