Ons Jabeur (Arabic: أُنْس جابر Uns Jābir; born 28 August 1994) is a Tunisian professional tennis player. She has a career-high Women's Tennis Association (WTA) ranking of No. 31 in the world. At the 2020 Australian Open, Jabeur became the first Arab woman to reach quarterfinals of a Grand Slam tournament. She is also the highest-ranked Arab player in WTA history. Jabeur has won 11 singles titles and one doubles title on the ITF Women's Circuit. She reached her only WTA final in 2018 at the Premier-level Kremlin Cup in Russia.
Jabeur at the 2018 Wimbledon Championships
|Native name||أُنْس جابر|
|Born||28 August 1994|
Ksar Hellal, Tunisia
|Height||1.67 m (5 ft 6 in)|
|Prize money||US$ 2,565,796|
|Career record||286–173 (62.3%)|
|Career titles||0 WTA, 11 ITF|
|Highest ranking||No. 31 (31 August 2020)|
|Current ranking||No. 31 (26 October 2020)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|Australian Open||QF (2020)|
|French Open||4R (2020)|
|US Open||3R (2019, 2020)|
|Olympic Games||1R (2012, 2016)|
|Career record||19–18 (51.4%)|
|Career titles||0 WTA, 1 ITF|
|Highest ranking||No. 116 (3 February 2020)|
|Current ranking||No. 214 (26 October 2020)|
|Fed Cup||37–13 (74.0%)|
|Last updated on: 26 october 2020.|
Jabeur was first introduced to tennis at age three by her mother. She reached two junior Grand Slam girls' singles finals at the French Open in 2010 and 2011, winning the title in the second appearance. She is the first Arab player to win a junior Grand Slam singles title since Ismail El Shafei won the Wimbledon boys' title in 1964. After nearly a decade playing primarily at the ITF level, Jabeur has become more of a mainstay on the WTA Tour beginning in 2017. She was named the Arab Woman of the Year in Sports in 2019.
Early life and backgroundEdit
Ons Jabeur was born 28 August 1994 to Samira and Ridha Jabeur in Ksar Hellal, a small town in Tunisia. She grew up in the larger nearby coastal town of Sousse. Jabeur has two older brothers Hatem and Marwen and an older sister Yasmine. Her mother played tennis recreationally and introduced her to the sport at the age of three. Jabeur trained under coach Nabil Mlika for ten years from ages four to thirteen, originally starting to work with him at a tennis promotion centre at her school. When she was ten years old, her club did not have their own tennis courts and she could only train on courts at nearby hotels. At twelve years old, Jabeur moved to the capital city of Tunis to train at the Lycée Sportif El Menzah, a national sport high school for the country's up-and-coming athletes where she stayed for several years. She also later trained in Belgium and France starting at the age of 16. Jabeur credits her parents for the sacrifices they made when she was growing up, saying, "My parents sacrificed a lot of things – my mom used to drive me everywhere around Tunisia to go play the tournaments, and she encouraged me to go to a special school to study. That was a big sacrifice to see her little girl going for a dream that, honestly, wasn't 100% guaranteed. She believed in me and gave me the confidence to be there."
Jabeur began playing on the ITF Junior Circuit in August 2007 on the week of her 13th birthday. With compatriot Nour Abbès, she won the doubles event of her debut tournament, the Grade 5 Al Fatah ITF Junior Tournament in Lebanon. She defeated Abbès to win her first Grade 5 singles event in January 2009 at the Fujairah ITF Junior Tennis Championships in the United Arab Emirates, where she also won the doubles event with Abbès. Later in the year, she started to have more success at higher-level tournaments, finishing runner-up at the Grade 2 International Junior Championships of Morocco and winning the Grade 2 Smash International Junior Championships in Egypt, both in singles. She made her junior Grand Slam debut at the 2009 US Open, losing her opening match to Laura Robson.
Jabeur started to produce strong results at the junior Grand Slam and other Grade A events in May 2010. In the doubles event at the Trofeo Bonfiglio, she partnered with Charlène Seateun to reach the semifinals. Two weeks later, she played the French Open and upset third seed Irina Khromacheva in the semifinals before finishing runner-up to Elina Svitolina. She also performed well at Wimbledon, reaching the quarterfinals in singles and the semifinal in doubles. She lost to Yulia Putintseva in singles, and Khromacheva and Svitolina in doubles alongside Monica Puig. Putintseva defeated Jabeur again at the US Open. Jabeur entered the doubles event with Putintseva and lost in the quarterfinals to Khromacheva again, who had partnered with Daria Gavrilova. Following the US Open, Jabeur had left wrist surgery in November that kept her out for five months until April 2011.
The last two singles events of Jabeur's junior career were the 2011 French Open and the 2011 Wimbledon Championships. At the French Open, she won her only junior Grand Slam title to become the first North African woman to win a junior Grand Slam tournament. As the ninth seed, she upset top seed Daria Gavrilova in the quarterfinals, third seed Caroline Garcia in the semifinals, and then fifth seed Monica Puig in the final. This title helped her rise to No. 4 in the world in the junior rankings. She also became the first Arab girl to win a junior Grand Slam singles title in history, and the first junior in general since Ismail El Shafei won the Wimbledon boys' title in 1964. Jabeur also entered the doubles event at the Grade 1 Junior International Roehampton, which she won while partnering with Ashleigh Barty.
2008–12: WTA debutEdit
Jabeur began playing on the ITF Women's Circuit in 2008 at the age of 14. In October 2009, she finished runner-up in both singles and doubles at an ITF $10K tournament in Monastir near her hometown, losing to Elise Tamaëla in both events. She won her first title at the $10K level in singles in May 2010 in Antalya, Turkey. She then won the singles and doubles events at another $10K tournament in Casablanca, Morocco two months later.
After having left wrist surgery at the end of the year and winning a junior Grand Slam title, Jabeur moved up to the $25K and $50K levels in the summer of 2011. She made her WTA main draw debut at the age of 17 as a wild card at the Premier 5 Qatar Open in February 2012, where she lost her first career match to No. 103 Virginie Razzano in three sets. She was also given a wild card into the qualifying competition at the Dubai Tennis Championships the following week. Although she did not qualify, she upset world No. 33 Zheng Jie with a ranking of No. 1169. Jabeur did not have much success at the ITF in 2012, only reaching one final, which came in singles and was her first at the $25K level. She also entered qualifying at the French Open, but only won one match. Jabeur finished the year ranked No. 260 in the world.
2013–16: Steady in the top 200 at the ITF levelEdit
After a slow start to 2013, Jabeur won her first ITF $25K title in April 2013 in Tunis. She then won back-to-back $50K titles over An-Sophie Mestach in Japan in May to bring her into the top 200 for the first time. In July, Jabeur played in her second WTA main draw at the Baku Cup. She upset top seed, defending champion, and world No. 37 Bojana Jovanovski in the second round before losing in the quarterfinals to Magda Linette. She entered the qualifying competitions at Wimbledon and the US Open, losing her opening match in both events. A third $50K title at the Challenger de Saguenay over CoCo Vandeweghe in Canada took Jabeur to a career-high ranking of No. 139.
Jabeur stayed inside the top 200 for most of the next three years, but could enter the top 100, reaching a career-best ranking of No. 118 in 2015. She continued to a play a mix of ITF and WTA events, but played primarily at the ITF level. Her only ITF title in 2014 came at a $25K event in Tunis, and she did not win any titles in 2015. She finished runner-up twice in 2014, with the higher-level result coming at the $50K Open Nantes Atlantique to Kateřina Siniaková. After losing in qualifying at the French Open and Wimbledon, Jabeur qualified for two Grand Slam main draws in a row at the 2014 US Open and the 2015 Australian Open. She lost her opening matches at both tournaments to No. 19 Andrea Petkovic and Vera Zvonareva respectively. With no titles, finals, or semifinals in 2015, her year-end ranking dropped to No. 210. Jabeur rebounded with two ITF $25K titles in January 2016. A $50K title at the Nana Trophy in Tunis helped her return to the top 200 for all but one week through the rest of the season. Nonetheless, she lost in qualifying at both Wimbledon and the US Open and did not have a strong second half of the season. She finished the year at No. 193.
2017–18: Top 100 debut, and then first WTA finalEdit
Jabeur participated in all four Grand Slam singles events in 2017 for the first time. After losing in the last round of qualifying at the Australian Open, she reached the French Open main draw as a lucky loser, the Wimbledon main draw as a qualifier, and the US Open main draw as a direct acceptance. She began to rise back up the rankings at the Premier-level Dubai Tennis Championships, where she qualified for the main draw and upset world No. 22 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the first round. This result brought her from No. 171 to No. 137. After moderate success at the ITF $60K level, Jabeur's next big breakthrough came at the French Open. As a lucky loser, she won two main draw matches, including an upset of world No. 7 Dominika Cibulková in the second round for her first top 10 victory. She lost in the third round to Timea Bacsinszky. At the end of July, she made her top 100 debut. Her only other Grand Slam main draw match win of the year was a first round win over American wild card Brienne Minor at the US Open, which cemented her place in the top 100 for the rest of the year.
Jabeur fell out of the top 100 in February 2018. She did not win her first match of the year until she reached the quarterfinals at the $60K Space Coast Pro Tennis Classic in April. After she lost in qualifying at the French Open, she dropped down to No. 180 in the world. Jabeur regained some of her rankings points when she won her first ITF $100K title at the Manchester Trophy, bringing her back to No. 133. With this title, she also earned a wild card into the main draw at Wimbledon. She won her only Grand Slam main draw match win of the year at Wimbledon over Viktorija Golubic, who she defeated for the third time in the span of a month. Jabeur ended her season with the best result of her career to date. As a qualifier at the Premier-level Kremlin Cup, she finished runner-up to world No. 14 Daria Kasatkina. She defeated three top 25 players in the tournament, including No. 8 Sloane Stephens and No. 11 Anastasija Sevastova. With this result, she returned to the top 100 at a career-high of No. 62 in the world.
2019–20: Grand Slam quarterfinal, top 50 debutEdit
Jabeur played all four Grand Slam main draws for the first time in 2019, and stayed in the top 100 the entire year. She lost in the first round at the first three Grand Slam tournaments of the season, and did not win multiple main draw matches at any tournaments until after the French Open in May. Jabeur had a better second half of the season. She reached the semifinals at the Premier-level Eastbourne International, where she upset home favourite and world No. 19, Johanna Konta. She withdrew before the semifinal due to a right ankle injury. Jabeur's next big result came at the US Open. She defeated No. 27 Caroline Garcia and then Aliaksandra Sasnovich to reach the third round at a Grand Slam tournament for the second time in her career. She lost a tight three-set match to world No. 3 Karolína Plíšková in the third round. With this success, she reached a career-high ranking of No. 51. The only other tournament of the year where Jabeur won multiple main draw matches was the Tianjin Open in October. She defeated three players including No. 36 Yulia Putintseva before losing to Rebecca Peterson in her second semifinal of the year.
Jabeur had a major breakthrough at the 2020 Australian Open. After defeating Konta and Garcia in the first two rounds, she defeated Caroline Wozniacki in three sets in the last match of Wozniacki's career. Jabeur defeated a fourth top 50 player in succession in Wang Qiang before losing to eventual champion Sofia Kenin in the quarterfinals. With this result, she made her top 50 debut following the tournament. She also became the first Arab woman to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal. The following month, Jabeur continued her progress after receiving two wild cards to both Premier tournaments in the Middle East. She held a match point against No. 2 Simona Halep in a second round loss at the Dubai Tennis Championships. She then reached the quarterfinals at the Qatar Ladies Open, where she upset world No. 3 Karolína Plíšková in the third round.
Jabeur represented Tunisia at the Junior Fed Cup in 2009 alongside Nour Abbès and Sonia Daggou. The team finished third place in their round robin group that also included Mexico, China, and Germany. Although Jabeur lost all three of her singles rubbers, Tunisia won their tie against Mexico after Abbès won her singles match and Jabeur teamed up with Abbès to win the decisive doubles rubber. Tunisia's finished in 11th place out of 16 teams overall, losing their first 9th-to-12th place tie to Indonesia, but winning their second 9th-to-12th place tie against Australia. Jabeur and Abbès won both singles rubbers in that last tie.
Jabeur made her senior Fed Cup debut for Tunisia in 2011, representing the team from 2011 to 2013, and again from 2016 through 2019. She has played in 29 ties, compiling an overall record of 32–11 split between 24–5 in singles and 8–6 and doubles. Her 24 singles wins are tied with Selima Sfar for the most in Tunisia Fed Cup history. When Jabeur debuted for Tunisia, they were in Europe/Africa Zone Group III. They were promoted to Zone Group II for 2013 after winning all five of their round robin ties and a play-off tie against Ireland in 2012. They were again promoted to Zone Group I for 2014 the following year, winning a play-off tie over Lithuania. However, Tunisia ultimately did not participate in Fed Cup in 2014 or 2015, which was concurrent with Tunisia's one-year ban from Davis Cup that resulted from their federation requiring Malek Jaziri to default a match to an Israeli player.
When Tunisia returned to Fed Cup in 2016, they were again placed in Zone Group III. They did not manage to win their round robin groups in 2016 or 2017, losing ties to Greece and Luxembourg in 2016 and then Finland and Malta in 2017. Tunisia again won their round robin group again in 2018, after which they defeated Lithuania to win promotion to Zone Group II in 2019. They did not win their round robin group in 2019, keeping them in Zone Group II for 2020. Jabeur won all of her singles rubbers when the team was promoted in 2012, 2013, and 2018.
As a junior, Jabeur also represented Tunisia at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, winning two singles matches and one doubles match, the latter with Romanian Cristina Dinu. She was eliminated in the quarterfinals by Chinese player Zheng Saisai in both competitions. Jabeur also represented Tunisia in singles at the London Olympic Games in 2012 and the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in 2016. She lost her 2012 opening round match to Sabine Lisicki in three sets. She also lost her 2016 opening round match in three sets, this time to Daria Kasatkina. She had a chance to serve for the match in the second set against Kasatkina, but was broken.
Jabeur builds her style of play around variety and hitting what she refers to as "crazy shots". She tries to employ difficult shots because that is how she enjoys to play tennis. She likes to utilize slice and drop shots in particular. Jabeur can hit winners in a variety of ways, including backhand drop shots from the baseline or forehands up the line. She likes to play on any surface.
As a junior, Jabeur was coached by Nabil Mlika until she was thirteen years old. Jabeur has worked with Bertrand Perret since February 2018. She views Perret as being more supportive of her style of play than her past coaches, saying, "I think he understands my game. He tries to improve my good shots, not change what I do. I've worked with a lot of coaches who tried to change my game... Bertrand encourages me to do dropshots and also corrects my dropshots, instead of other coaches who told me not to do dropshots at all."
Jabeur is married to Karim Kamoun, a Russian-Tunisian former fencer who has also served as her fitness coach since mid-2017. She is fluent in Arabic, English, and French, and is learning Russian because her husband speaks the language. Her favorite tennis player as a child was Andy Roddick. She plays football recreationally, and is a fan of Real Madrid CF.
Jabeur was one of twelve players who received an International Player Grand Slam Grant from the Grand Slam Development Fund in 2017 immediately before the French Open, where she won her first two career Grand Slam main draw matches.
Jabeur won a 2019 Arab Women of the Year award in the sport category, having reached the third round of the US Open and established herself as a permanent fixture in the top 100 that year.
Grand Slam singles performance timelineEdit
|Australian Open||A||A||A||1R||A||Q3||1R||1R||QF||0 / 4||4–4||50%|
|French Open||Q2||A||Q1||Q2||A||3R||Q2||1R||4R||0 / 3||5–3||63%|
|Wimbledon||A||Q1||Q3||A||Q1||1R||2R||1R||NH||0 / 3||1–3||25%|
|US Open||A||Q1||1R||Q1||Q1||2R||1R||3R||3R||0 / 5||5–5||50%|
|Win–Loss||0–0||0–0||0–1||0–1||0–0||3–3||1–3||2–4||9–3||0 / 15||15–15||50%|
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