The First African And Arab Woman To Compete In A Women’s Grand Slam Final

The First African And Arab Woman To Compete In A Women's Grand Slam Final

Trailblazing tennis sensation Ons Jabeur is poised to make a triumphant return to Wimbledon this week.

Determined to build on her progress over the past two years, the 29-year-old is committed to becoming the first African and Arab to win a Grand Slam title.

Last year, the professional Tunisian tennis player captured hearts worldwide, including that of the Princess of Wales, with her humble speech following her loss in the women’s finals at Wimbledon. The defeat to Marketa Vondrousova was, in Ons’ words, the “most painful loss of my career.”

In an exclusive interview at the ASICS Rally for the Mind event in Paris, just days before the SW19 tournament, Ons spoke about her goal to clinch the title and the support she receives from Kate, the patron of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.

“I feel a great connection with grass courts, so I feel like maybe I’m ready this time,” she said. “I’m just going to try it one match at a time and see how it goes,” adding: “I think I will take it one step at a time. I struggled with a lot of injuries during this year.” 

Kate Middleton’s Support

In a rare display of emotion, the Princess of Wales appeared to tear up as she watched Ons lose the game. Asked about the royal’s support over the past two years, Ons says: “She was really the nicest. She has watched me twice, losing the final twice. 

“She kept asking me if she could hug me, and I was like, ‘Who doesn’t want a hug from a Princess, you know?’ “For me, it was such an amazing moment. And not just that, I felt her kindness and energy around me.” 

“I really wish her a speedy recovery,” adds Ons. “I know she’s going through a tough time. She’s been there when I was struggling, and I hope I can really send my energy there for her. She’s such a nice person, and I wish her all the best.”

The tennis star also confessed Kate’s backing has inspired her more than ever before. “Honestly, it’s an honour,” continues Ons. “I always try to behave in the nicest way on the court. 

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