Ons Jabeur worked her way to the top of tennis in spite of it taking years. The talent was always there but it took her a while to find her place in the world of tennis, especially as a player whose style of play doesn't really resemble the way most WTA players play right now.
In a world of hard hitters, Jabeur is bringing style and finesse to a sport that is seeing that type of playstyle dying out. Last year was a major success for Jabeur who made it to two Grand Slam finals including Wimbledon. That run in Wimbledon certainly left a lasting impression on Jabeur who was one set away from eternal glory.
It's been crazy, my life definitely changed a bit [after Wimbledon] and I'm very happy because the most important thing is I stayed the same. I hope I can continue making great memories and achieve what I want to achieve and become the first one [African and Arab woman] to win a Grand Slam.
Jabeur was always quite focused on the legacy part. She took great pride in being the first Arab woman in the Top 10 of the WTA Rankings. Like most North Africans, Jabeur identifies as both Arab and African. Arab due to the language and culture and African by being born on the continent of Africa.
It was crazy, people were everywhere at the airport. I went to the Theatre of Carthage where there were 10,000 people cheering for me there. It's really unbelievable and I'm very grateful for the support of Tunisia and all the African continent. It makes me do better and pushes me to win a Grand Slam because I know it would mean the world to them.
Like last year, Jabeur opted to take part in the Eastbourne event. She played with Serena Williams last year a week before the legend would play her final match at Wimbledon. Jabeur's hope is to get some matches in after some disappointing outings lately.
I love being in Eastbourne, it's such a great connection, I love people here and how they watch tennis. "I think getting a few matches under your belt and playing on grass helps you be ready for Wimbledon. The grass is a very tricky surface but as long as you play matches on it and get used to it you can be ready and hopefully that's the case for me for Wimbledon.