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“I have no idea” – Over the moon Jabeur on why Serena Williams picked her

Tunisia’s One Jabeur will become just the sixth player to partner Serena Williams in women’s doubles

Ons Jabeur and Serena Williams Ons Jabeur and Serena Williams © Panoramic

Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur has been breaking new ground on the WTA Tour with her singles play over the past year. However, next week, the world No 4 will be in the spotlight for another reason as she teams up with 14-time Grand Slam women’s doubles champion Serena Williams at the WTA event in Eastbourne.

Williams, who has 23 Grand Slam singles titles, has not played since her tearful retirement in the first round at Wimbledon 12 months ago and will use her doubles partnership with Jabeur next week to test her fitness and form before she returns to singles play the following week at Wimbledon, where she has received a wildcard.

Jabeur: “Pretty lucky”

In an interview with Racquet Mag, Jabeur said she had no idea why Serena, aged 40, picked her specifically to partner for her return and that she is going to try and be at her best when they team up.

“I have no idea (about why she picked me). I’m pretty lucky that she picked me, and I’m going to try to be 100 per cent on the court, and serve like Andy Roddick, make volleys like the Bryans, just trying to be really good on court. “

I’m still over the moon. I found out before the French Open, and it’s an honour and privilege to play with her.

Ons Jabeur

Jabeur also revealed that she was asked to partner Serena before the French Open but wasn’t sure of exactly which tournament Williams would make her comeback then.

“I’m still over the moon. I found out before the French Open, and it’s an honour and privilege to play with her. I’m actually nervous, but I’m going to try to be the doubles specialist for the next week and hopefully make zero mistakes. [Laughs] But it’s a great honour to play with such a legend, and to be able to really share the court with her is unbelievable because we never played each other and now we’re playing next to each other—we are a team. I’m really excited to be in Eastbourne next week, more and more excited than ever. Hopefully it’s going to be a great tournament for both of us. “

“Would I play doubles with Serena?”, obviously the answer was yes. – Jabeur

Jabeur, who won her opening round match at the Berlin Open on Tuesday, added that the players’ coaches helped connect them for the partnership.

“My coach, he’s in contact with her coach, Eric [Hechtman]. (Editor note: Eric Hechtman, who had previously coached Venus Williams, is working with Serena during this comeback). “Would I play doubles with Serena?”, obviously the answer was yes. She was coming back; I didn’t know where. I wasn’t sure, actually, to play at Eastbourne. But now I’m 100 percent sure I will go, just for doubles. [Laughs]”

Jabeur will now become only the sixth player to team up with Serena Williams in women’s doubles, joining her sister Venus Williams, Martina Navratilova, Caroline Wozniacki, Alison Riske and Alexandra Stevenson in the exclusive club.

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