Ons Jabeur has reached a new career high and made history by becoming the highest-ranked player from an African nation in ATP or WTA rankings history.
Although the Tunisian didn’t play in any singles matches this past week, but Anett Kontaveit, who made it to the Eastbourne final last year, lost points and fell from second to third in the WTA rankings, while Jabeur rose from third to second. She is now ranked second to Poland’s Iga Swiatek. She has reached a new milestone thanks to her career-best rating.
The 27 year old and South African Amanda Coetzer, who peaked at No. 3 on the WTA rankings in 1997, formerly shared the record.
Just last week, before her No. 2 upshoot, she was the third ranked player in the world in the WTA rankings after winning the Berlin Open. She then teamed up with tennis great Serena Williams at the Eastbourne International after winning the title in Berlin.
However, after Jabeur suffered a slight injury in the semifinal, the team withdrew fromthe competition. Her participation in Wimbledon has not been impacted by the injury, and she will compete. Jabeur’s solid grass season improved as she moved up the rankings.
Jabeur now has Wimbledon in her sights as one of the biggest rewards of all. She would be playing this match differently from Roland Garros, where she lost in the opening round.
“Going into the French Open, I really felt that pressure of everybody expecting me to do well. I wasn’t used to that. Just invisible player going to Grand Slams, doing well sometimes,” she said to the press media at the All England Club.
“But, yeah, I tried to learn from that, not overplay, not play a lot of matches on grass, just prepare myself for the main goal. For me the main goal was Wimbledon even before the year starts,” she added.
When asked what winning Wimbledon means to her, she replied:
“It would mean a lot. I am manifesting a lot on that this year. It’s just such a great tournament. I remember the crowd last year was amazing. It’s a surface that I can play really well on and I can enjoy myself.And that’s why I would love to get the Wimbledon trophy. Hopefully I will be ready. My eyes are on Wimbledon.”
For African athletes aspiring to succeed, Jabeur’s ascent to the top serves as a remarkable source of encouragement. Jabeur described how she began playing tennis after realising she had the potential to inspire others during the press conference prior to Wimbledon.
Jabeur believes that the duty to motivate others is an essential component of tennis, just like the preparation and practise she puts into the game.
“I tell myself I chose to do this. Let’s say, I chose to inspire people, I chose to be the person that I am, I want to share my experience one day and really get more and more generations here,” she said.