Ons Jabeur, the 28-year-old Tunisian tennis player ranked No. 5 in the world, has experienced heartbreak in the last year, losing three Grand Slam finals, including this year's Wimbledon. The pain of her recent defeat at Wimbledon was especially difficult for Jabeur, who described it as the most painful loss of her career. This feeling of defeat is not unfamiliar to Jabeur, as she also experienced it last year at the 2022 U.S. Open final against Iga Swiatek. Despite reaching three Grand Slam finals, Jabeur has yet to win a title.
Heading into the 2023 U.S. Open, Jabeur is determined to avoid another loss, especially as she has the opportunity to win her first career Grand Slam. She shared her determination to win every match, emphasizing the importance of the last Grand Slam of the season. Jabeur has analyzed her previous final appearances and believes that she needs to approach the finals with a different mindset. She wants to treat them like any other match and focus on enjoying the game, rather than succumbing to the pressure.
Jabeur has confidence in her ability to win a Grand Slam one day and is practicing diligently for the upcoming U.S. Open. She also expressed her love for playing in New York City, citing the passionate tennis fans and the sense of appreciation she feels as a woman in the city. Jabeur witnessed Carlos Alcarez's victory at last year's U.S. Open men's singles final, and while she was happy for him, she now wants that moment for herself.
Prior to her first match at the U.S. Open, Jabeur has been signing autographs for fans and promoting Lotto Sports' T-shirts featuring her signature catchphrase, "Yalla Habibi," which translates to "Let's go darling!" in Arabic. Originally intended for Jabeur and her team, the shirts gained popularity due to her social media presence, and others have expressed interest in joining the movement. Jabeur expressed her gratitude towards Lotto for their support, considering them not just sponsors but family.
Jabeur recently defended her fellow tennis player Iga Swiatek, who spoke out against social media trolls. Jabeur commended Swiatek for addressing the hate and criticism they receive on social media. Speaking from her own experience, Jabeur acknowledged that hate messages are unfortunately common, regardless of winning or losing. She believes that players shouldn't pay attention to these messages, as they only bring negative energy. However, Jabeur also recognized the importance of addressing the issue, particularly when threats become involved. She praised the International Tennis Federation for its efforts in monitoring and reporting such instances to the police.
Jabeur values her good relationship with other players and believes in supporting and helping each other. She sees the evolving aspect of players being friends off the court as a positive change within the sport. Despite her competitive nature, Jabeur wants what's best for herself and for tennis as a whole. She hopes to be the last woman standing at Arthur Ashe Stadium and to finally lift a Grand Slam trophy. Jabeur feels appreciated in New York and loves the passionate crowd, but she acknowledges that social media appreciation may not always be present. Regardless, she will continue to speak out against trolls and those who hide behind screens, not just for herself but for her peers as well. Jabeur believes in laughing, being nice to other players, and providing support when possible.
themes: New York City New York (state)