'Excluding & Isolating Never Brought Change': Jabeur Backs Saudi Arabia's Bid In Women's Tennis

'Excluding & Isolating Never Brought Change': Jabeur Backs Saudi Arabia's Bid In Women's Tennis

by Nurein Ahmed

Tunisian tennis star Ons Jabeur recently used her platform to support Saudi Arabia's efforts in providing a pathway for women in the region to play sports.

Jabeur is one of the most influential figures in the Arab world thanks to her splendid tennis career that saw her attain a world ranking of No. 2 - the highest peak by an African and Arab singles player across both tours.

She is also the first African and Arab woman to contest a Grand Slam singles final in the Open Era. When Jabeur walks on a tennis court, she wears her heart on her sleeve as a representative not just of the African continent but also of the Gulf region.

Jabeur speaks fondly of her roots and is delighted to see the crop of talent coming through from Africa and the Middle East. She is not the only African and Arab player in the world's Top 100. Egypt's Mayar Sherif has joined her on that front.

Jabeur advocates change and believes women from areas deprived of opportunities don't have the pathway to excel until those opportunities are presented to them. And in light of Saudi Arabia's involvement in women's tennis, the World No. 6 is a staunch supporter of the bid.

Recently, Jabeur shared her thoughts on X (formerly Twitter) to respond to a letter penned by Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert on Saudi Arabia potentially hosting the 2024 WTA Finals.

The claims from the two WTA legends generated quite a stir on the internet this past week. The Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the US, Princess Reema Bandar Al Saud, slammed the pair for "turning their backs" on women.

Jabeur's recent tweet was not merely a direct attack on Navratilova and Evert on their contentious views but also an acknowledgment of Saudi Arabia possibly creating opportunities for women in sports.

"Change is only possible when embracing different perspectives and being inclusive. Excluding and isolating never brought any change but has only created division. As a fervent ambassador of women sports, I can only salute and support Saudi's efforts to shed light on women's sports and creating fantastic opportunities for everyone."

Jabeur decalres her public support for Saudi Arabia on X (formerly Twitter)


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