The Tunisian trailblazer has suffered the agony of losing three Grand Slam finals - twice at Wimbledon and once at the US Open. But it was on her third try that left the scar wide open and still in pain.
Jabeur was the overwhelming favorite to win the 2023 Wimbledon women's final against the unseeded Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic. She had lost to Elena Rybakina just 12 months earlier on the same court and the same stage.
But she appeared ready to exorcise her demons. And to underline the Tunisian's consistency at last year's grass-court major, she had seamlessly cruised into the second week, dropping just one set in the process. Then, she served revenge on Rybakina in the quarterfinals.
Jabeur then completed the dismissal of two reigning Grand Slam champions by beating Aryna Sabalenka in the semifinal. Her first Grand Slam win appeared a formality in the final until Vondrousova took advantage of a nervous Jabeur to win.
The 29-year-old was invited to Egyptian journalist Reem Abulleil's podcast "Abtal," where she reflected on that defeat. Jabeur felt it was "unfair" that she lost the final, considering the tougher route she had to go through to get there.
The Tunisian also highlighted how sky-high expectations in the buildup to the final cost her dearly despite being the experienced and higher-ranked player in the matchup.
"Maybe expectations got in the way because I was sure I could win this one. I was ready, playing amazing matches. I also felt it was unfair since I had tougher matches before, making it tough."
"I've been playing well the last two years, building myself up. Falling short in just one match hurt because I wanted to lift that title so bad for so many years, but yeah, it is what it is."
Jabeur is the only African and Araba woman who has contested a Grand Slam singles final in the Open Era and has previously made a shocking revelation that she suffered a panic attack just 24 hours before the final. She will certainly be eyeing a third try this summer, given her persistence and dedication.