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‘I’ve even said to myself I love you’ : Jabeur leaves Wimbledon with no regrets and is already looking ahead

Her first Grand Slam final may not have ended the way she would have liked but Ons Jabeur is already looking ahead

Ons Jabeur (TUN) poses with the runners up plate at the Wimbledon Championships Ons Jabeur (TUN) poses with the runners up plate at the Wimbledon Championships Image Credit: Action Plus / Panoramic

Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur said she gave herself a pep talk during the second set of the Wimbledon ladies singles final, which she lost 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 to Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina.

After winning the first set, Rybakina broke early in the second to make her way back into the match and Jabeur said she told herself to keep fighting.

“It is frustrating to play someone that serves really big and doesn’t give you the chance sometimes to take that break. I just telling myself, like, This is not over, I trust you. I even said, I love you, to myself during the match (smiling),” the 27-year-old said.

“I told myself, Don’t lose the second set. That’s the thing I told myself. I know I’ve been winning like the first set, and for some reason like drop in the second set. I was trying really to win my serve at the beginning. I felt like I was going really fast, even making like some mistakes. I felt like she was playing better in the second and third set because she made less mistakes. I was expecting myself maybe to return better, especially take the opportunities that I have to break her so many times. It wasn’t meant to be.”

Ons Jabeur and Elena Rybakina
Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur reacts during the women’s singles final against Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

Although Jabeur had been very vocal about the fact that she had her sights set on the Venus Rosewater Dish, the world No 2 said she has no regrets and sees the several positives coming out of the fortnight.

“Definitely positive about it. I’m very glad with my results. I don’t regret anything. I gave it all today. A final, I lose so many at the beginning, then step back and win one more. I don’t disbelieve in myself and I know that I’m going to come back and win a Grand Slam, for sure. This is tennis, and it’s part of it. I have to learn from it, definitely. But I’m very, very positive about it.”

Tennis is just a sport for me. The most important thing that I feel good about myself.

Ons Jabeur

Jabeur added that she is looking forward to the American summer hardcourt stretch and is hopeful that her runner-up finish here is just the start of bigger things to come.

“I really cannot wait to play my next tournament, especially that I’m going to the States, and I know there is a lot of crazy fans there. This is just the beginning of so many things. I’m very positive about it. I wanted really bad that title. Maybe because I want it too much, I didn’t have it. Just the beginning of great things for me. I’m really trying to stay positive, to really continue, get the more titles that I want.”

“I cannot wait to really improve a lot of things in my game. Definitely those few weeks that I had from Berlin, from here, that gives me a lot of confidence. I cannot wait for the US Open swing. It’s going to be amazing. I feel very positive about it.”

“Like Bob Marley said, Don’t worry, be happy. You know, I really gave it all these two weeks. It’s been amazing. A lot of great memories here with the crowd, with you guys. It’s really amazing. Of course, I will leave happy, with a smile, big smile always. Tennis is just a sport for me. The most important thing that I feel good about myself.”

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