Ons Jabeur of Tunisia will be the first Arab player to break into the top ten

Ons Jabeur
Source: Skysports

With a straight-set victory at Indian Wells, Ons Jabeur punched her ticket to the BNP Paribas Open’s last four; it was also a historic result for Jabeur, as the victory ensures she will become the first Arab male or woman to earn a top 10 singles ranking.

After reaching the Indian Wells semi-finals on Thursday, Ons Jabeur will become the first Arab player to break into the top ten of the world rankings.

In the California desert, the 27-year-old overcame Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit 7-5 6-3, converting five of her 12 break-point opportunities on her way to her 48th match win of the season, the most of any player on the Tour this season.

“I know top 10 is just the beginning,” Jabeur stated after the game.

“I’ve known for a long time that I deserved this spot since I’ve been playing well.” But I want to show that I’m worthy of being here, that I’m worthy of being one of the top ten players.

“I have a lot of things I need to work on.” I’m overjoyed and filled with feelings right now, but I’m still in the competition, so I’m trying to relax and not obsess on the top ten. After the competition, we’ll most likely celebrate. “I simply believed in myself, worked hard, and this is only the beginning of big things.”

Jabeur, who will face Spain’s Paula Badosa in her maiden WTA 1000 semi-final on Friday, said her heritage has presented numerous challenges in her career.

“I’ve been turned down by sponsors because of where I’m from, which is really unfair,” she explained. “I didn’t understand why I had previously accepted it. I am quite pleased with the person I have become today, despite the fact that I no longer rely on others.

“Everyone most likely had a difficult career. I don’t claim to have the most challenging one.

“I didn’t want to rely on a sponsor or someone who isn’t interested in tennis or sports in general. It gave me the confidence to keep going and achieve my goals, and I’m now ranked in the top ten.”

Badosa defeated German 10th seed, Angelique Kerber, 6-4 7-5, and after her match, she mentioned facing Jabeur for a spot in the final.

According to the Spaniard: “She’s incredibly skilled, and she plays in a variety of styles. She’ll be a tough opponent, and she’ll make me run a lot, so I’ll have to be prepared for that. Then, she’s playing pretty well, so I’m expecting a tough one.”

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