Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur: The first Arab woman to play Grand Slam Singles Semis. There are countless “firsts” in the resume of Ons Jabeur’s résumé, and now one more to be added as the First Arab woman who reached the Grand Slam tournament semifinals.
The 3rd-seeded Tunisian showed improved performance compared to last year’s quarterfinal run by giving a better performance on Tuesday at the Grand Slam tournament grass court. She defeated Marie Bouzkova by 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 on Centre Court.
Jabeur, No. 2 in the world said “It means a lot,” “I was hoping that I could get to this stage for a long time already. … I was talking a little bit to (former Moroccan player) Hicham Arazi, and he told me, ‘Arabs always lose in the quarterfinals and we are sick of it. Please break this.’ I was like, I’ll try, my friend.”
She made the effort and she turned it into reality at the age of 27 years.
Jabeur is going to face in the semi-finals another newcomer Tatjana Maria.
Tatjana Maria, a 34-year-old player from Germany, who took 2 breaks from tennis for childbirth, and emerged as the oldest Grand Slam semifinalist for the first time in the Open era. This is going to be her 35th appearance in the tournament. She defeated Jule Niemeier in 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 sets on No. 1 Court.
Jabeur and Maria both are bosom friends.
While talking about her playmate cum Friend Maria, Jabeur said. “I’m really happy for her that she’s getting what she deserves. I know she struggled a lot,” “It’s not easy coming back after having two babies. It’s going to be a great match between us, a lot of respect, for sure.”
Jabeur has been in a constant mood to create new records one after another for Arab players in recent years. She entered her name as the first Arab woman who reached the quarterfinals of the Grand Slam tournament in 2020 for the Australian Open.
In 2021, she remained the first Arabian player to MADE into the top in the rank list of men’s or women’s and then the first Arab to bag the WTA title.
In 2022, things are much better for Jabeur at the All-England Club. She got her first four matches with a straight-sets win and with nil trouble.
Things changed for Bouzkova, a 23-year-old Czech who had never been to the 3rd round of any major tournament. Bouzkova’s brilliant start failed to last in the second set.
Jabeur said, “She gets all the balls and doesn’t make, to win a point.”
“I’m glad I stepped in with my game. I was more aggressive in the second set, and especially tactically I was playing some angles that she didn’t like much.”
The earlier five women together won 30 titles at the All-England Club in their entire careers.
· Billie Jean King
· Martina Navratilova
· Chris Evert
· Venus Williams
· Serena Williams
Maria Said, “To be on a list of such great players, it’s amazing,” “I mean, to have my name in the same spot, yeah, I still cannot believe it, really.”
Maria will be making her tenth appearance at the All-England Club. Twice she took a break for childbirth
She said “I think for me, that’s the most important thing in my life, to be a mom of my two kids. Nothing will change this,”
“I’m in the semi final of Wimbledon, it’s crazy, but I’m still a mom. After this, I will go out over there and I will see my kids and I will do the same thing that I do every single day.”
Maria’s rank was outside the top 250 till March, but her hard work brings her back to No. 103.
“I always believed that I have something inside, I mean, that I can do this.”
“I always believed in this, but to be now, here in this spot … one year ago, I gave birth to my second daughter. If somebody would tell me one year later, you are in a semifinal of Wimbledon, that’s crazy.” Maria said.