Jabeur 1 victory before the 1st Pro Slam for an Arab or African woman

WIMBLEDON, England—Ons Jabeur lifted her mobile phone so everyone could see her locked-screen photo of the Venus Rosewater Dish, the trophy presented to the women’s champion of Wimbledon.

“I have done everything since the beginning of the year” Jabeur said, “to really focus on this tournament. …but it wasn’t meant to be.

And then, find a little humor on a disappointing dayshe joked that maybe she should have chosen a photo from the second plate instead.

With a chance to become the first African or Arab woman to win a major tennis tournament in the sport’s professional era, second-ranked Jabeur couldn’t quite finish the job on Saturday. She gave away a lead and lost the final at the All England Club against 23rd rank Elena Rybakina 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.

“I know I will come back and win a Grand Slam for sure,” said Jabeur, a 27-year-old Tunisian. “It’s tennis, and that’s part of it. I have to learn from this, definitely.

Jabeur entered the day on a 12-game winning streak, all on grass. She had won 22 of her previous 24 matches overall.

Then came what was a terrific start for her on sunny center court.

“Maybe the first set I was too nervous,” Rybakina said. “Of course, Ons, she played well. I needed time to adapt to his game.”

Jabeur read Rybakina’s fast serves early on and broke to lead 2-1, then turned to face his box of guests, jumped up and shouted in celebration. Jabeur threw an uppercut after catching the first set. She headed a tennis ball, football style, past a point. She shouted “Yalla! – Arabic for “Let’s go!” – after another.

“I am really happy to try to inspire many generations in my country,” said Jabeur, who noted that Saturday was Eid al-Adha, one of the greatest festivals of Islam. “I hope they are listening.”

Jabeur is usually not one to hide his excitement or his joy, with or without a racket in hand, emblematic of a personality that has earned him the nickname “Minister of Happiness”.

She therefore chose to focus on the silver lining of the last two weeks rather than how the fortnight ended, with a host of unforced errors in the last two sets and an inability to disrupt Rybakina’s power. with its own creative mix of off-speed offerings. .

“Almost there, at the last step,” said Jabeur, who collapsed in his sideline chair immediately after second place. “I’m really a positive person. … It will definitely give me a lot of confidence.

Now she looks forward to being celebrated at home in Tunisia before hitting the road again for the North American hard court circuit, which culminates in the US Open, the final Grand Slam tournament of the year. The game starts in New York on August 29.

As for the image stored on his phone?

The plan had been to return a photo of his niece who had been there before. Now, Jabeur said, she will consider using a photo from the US Open.

Picture credits: PA

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