Reason Behind Why Jabeur Cried During Abu Dhabi Open Quarterfinal Defeat Revealed

Reason Behind Why Jabeur Cried During Abu Dhabi Open Quarterfinal Defeat Revealed

by Nurein Ahmed

It was hard not to sympathize with Ons Jabeur, who cut a forlorn figure during her quarterfinal defeat at the Abu Dhabi Open.

Tennis fans were surprised to see the Tunisian star being driven to tears with Friday's match still ongoing. Haddad Maia had taken the first set 6-3, and although Jabeur fought back from a break down to restore parity in the second set, her emotions took control of her.

Just before Haddad Maia began serving at 3-4, the Tunisian could be seen walking around the baseline, preparing to receive with tears streaming down her eyes. Her coach, Essam Jalali, was among those who willed her on as the crowd stood in unison to cheer her up.

At that moment, it was unclear what exactly had hit the Arab sensation. Fans began speculating that maybe the pressure of succeeding in playing in the Middle East was too much to bear. Jabeur is the most successful Arab player in tennis history.

She has earned over $10 million in career earnings and has headlined three Grand Slam finals. Some fans also felt that maybe she was bothered by an ailment in her body. It was only after the match, in which Jabeur lost in straight sets, that the full picture came to light.

Speaking to The National, the World No. 6 admitted she had been perturbed by a chronic knee injury all week and that the issue became more severe on Friday in her quarterfinal match, but congratulated her opponent without taking the gloss away from her.

"First of all, congratulations to Beatriz, she played a great game. I wasn't feeling 100 per cent, unfortunately, my knee still bothers me a bit."

"Today wasn't to be my day. I was trying to fight and get through this match but when you play against someone who plays amazing like Beatriz, it's tough to compete. I tried my best and tried to stay focused and play my game but unfortunately, I couldn't."

Jabeur also revealed it is the same knee that has been holding her back in most tournaments. It is unclear if she will play in two of the most important tournaments of the Middle East swing, in Doha and Dubai which will take place in the next two weeks.

"We go way back with the knee; some tournaments it's good, some tournaments it's bad. I've been feeling it for the past week but today was the worst day. Usually during practice I try to manage but during matches, it's a bit tougher."


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