Tunisia, Minister of Happiness, Wimbledon: Everything you always wanted to know about Ons Jabeur (but never had time to find out) – updated after Ningbo Open title
Ons Jabeur has been blazing a trail for Arab tennis for many years, has reached a career-high ranking of world No 2 and been to three Grand Slam finals. Here’s everything you need to know about her
Who is Ons Jabeur ?
Ons Jabeur is a professional tennis player from Tunisia, now considered as one of the top female players in the world. She reached the Top 10 in 2021 and admitted she wanted to be No 1 in the world in 2022. So far, so good. Jabeur hit No 2 in the rankings on June 27, 2022.
Jabeur is right-handed and is loved around the world for her varied game and dropshots as well as her attitude, very open to the fans, the media and other players. She is known as the “Minister of Happiness” and is the greatest tennis player of all time from Africa.
What did Jabeur achieve at Wimbledon 2023?
After losing to Elena Rybakina in the 2022 Wimbledon final, the Tunisian advanced to her second consecutive ladies singles final at the All England Club.
Jabuer defeated four consecutive Grand Slams winners along the way – former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu in the third round, two-time Wimbledon champ Petra Kvitova in the fourth round, defending champ Rybakina in the quarters and 2023 Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka to reach the championship round.
Jabeur lost to Czech Marketa Vondrousova in the final, 6-4, 6-4.
Did Ons Jabeur have surgery in 2023?
Yes. After losing at the Australian Open, Jabeur announced she would need minor surgery on her left knee. She had the operation in mid-February and returned to action at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells in early March, admitting that she was probably only 80 percent fit.
What did Ons Jabeur do at Grand Slams in 2022?
The No 3-seeded Tunisian reached her maiden Grand Slam final at Wimbledon in 2022 to become the first Tunisian and North African woman to ever reach the final at a Major. She is the also the first Arab woman to reach a Grand Slam final in the Open Era but lost in three sets to Elena Rybakina 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.
She followed that up by reaching the 2022 US Open final, but there she lost in straight sets to Iga Swiatek 6-2, 7-6 (5).
What is Ons Jabeur’s highest ranking?
Ons Jabeur reached a career-high ranking of No 2 on June 27, 2022 and is the highest-ranked Arab player in history. You can find her current ranking and her rankings history on her WTA Tour profile page.
Why is Jabeur called the Minister of Happiness?
The Tunisian known for her sunny disposition and her ability to connect with fans across the globe has been dubbed as the “Minister of Happiness”. The name was bestowed upon her by fans back in Tunisia but has since become synonymous with her across the globe.
After losing the 2022 Wimbledon final to Elena Rybkina, Jabeur was asked about the moniker.
Question: As the ‘Minister of Happiness’, when you leave London, will you be happy? What will your emotions be?
Jabuer said, “Always happy. Like Bob Marley said, Don’t worry, be happy. 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, a big smile, always. Tennis is just a sport for me. The most important thing [is] that I feel good about myself”.
What nationality is Ons Jabeur?
Ons Jabeur is Tunisian. She was born on August 28, 1994, in Ksar Hellal, not far from Monastir, in Tunisia. She lives in Tunis.
How tall is she?
Jabeur is 5ft 6in (1.67m), according to her profile on the WTA Tour.
Who are her parents?
Jabeur’s parents are Ridha and Samira Jabeur. The Tunisian has two older brothers, Hatem and Marwen, and one sister, Yasmine. It is Jabeur’s mother, Samira, who helped her discover tennis at the age of three.
Who is the coach of Ons Jabeur ?
Ons Jabeur has been coached since February 2020 by Issam Jellali, a former Tunisian player. She was previously coached by the Frenchman, Bertrand Perret, with whom she worked for two years.
Who is her husband?
Her husband is Karim Kamoun, a former Russo-Tunisian fencer. The pair were married in October 2015. Karim Kamoun is now her full-time physical trainer on the WTA Tour.
When did Jabeur turn pro?
The runner-up in juniors at Roland-Garros in 2010, Ons Jabeur won the title the following year, the first African champion in 55 years. She began her professional career in Doha in 2012, where she lost in the first round to Virginie Razzano. Jabeur won her first WTA Tour match in 2014 in Oeiras, Portugal, beating local player Maria Joao Koehler.
What is Jabeur’s best Grand Slam result?
Her best result at a Grand Slam is her trips to two Wimbledon finals and to the US Open final in 2022. Jabeur defeated Tatjana Maria in the Wimbledon semi-final in 2022, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1, to become the first Tunisian woman to ever reach a Grand Slam final. She is also the first Arab player to reach a Grand Slam singles final and the first African woman to reach a major final since 1959. Jabeur lost in three sets to Elena Rybakina for the Wimbledon title in 2022 and in straight sets to Marketa Vondtousova in 2023.
At the US Open, she reached a second consecutive final, losing out to world No 1 Iga Swiatek.
Is Jabeur active on social media?
Yes, Ons Jabeur is active on social media. The Tunisian is active on Instagram, where she regularly posts photos of herself on and off the tennis court. She is followed by 1.1 million people, as of August 20, 2023. Jabeur can also be found on Twitter where she is followed by more than 330,000 people.
How many WTA Tour titles has Ons Jabeur won?
Ons Jabeur has won five WTA singles titles in her career so far. She won her first WTA Tour title in Birmingham, England, in June 2021, beating Daria Kasatkina of Russia in the final. She won her second title at the Madrid Open in May 2022 and her third in Berlin on grass in June 2022. She won her fourth in Charleston in April 2023, beating Belinda Bencic in the final. Jabeur then won her fifth and most recent title at the Ningbo Open on the WTA’s return to China, beating Russian Diana Shnaider in the final to win the 250-level event.
Jabeur has also finished runner-up on eight other occasions – Moscow (2018), Chicago (2021), Charleston (2021 and 2022), Rome (2022), Wimbledon (2022 and 2023) and US Open (2022).
What is Ons Jabeur’s best victory?
In terms of ranking, Jabeur’s best win came in 2018 when she defeated world No 1 Simona Halep in the first round of the China Open, albeit by a walkover (6-1 retired).
In all, she has 15 wins over top 10 ranked opponents, including No 3 Karolina Pliskova (6-4, 3-6, 6-3) in Qatar in 2020 and wins over Sofia Kenin (Miami 2021) and Maria Sakkari (Rome 2022) when they were ranked No 4 in the world. She beat No 2 Aryna Sabalenka and No 3 Elena Rybakina at Wimbledon in 2023.
Is Ons Jabeur the best female Arab player in history?
Ons Jabeur can already be considered as the best female Arab player in history. As soon as at the end of November 2019, she was also voted as the Best Arab Athlete of the Year, and won the Arab Woman of the Year award, given by the London Arabia organisation.
“I’ve been playing tennis since I was a child to inspire Arab women to believe that nothing is impossible. I feel like an ambassador for my country, but also for youth and women,” Jabeur told the WTA website after receiving the award.
In 2022, after finishing as runner-up at Wimbledon, she said she was looking forward to her homecoming: “I cannot wait to meet Tunisians. They’re really amazing. They always support me. I think right now I need their support to really continue and do better.”
Is Ons Jabeur Muslim?
Ons Jabeur reached the final of Wimbledon in 2022, which coincided with the Muslim holiday of Eid. She said afterwards that she could hear her fellow Tunisians in the crowd calling good wishes for the festival to her.
“It’s really amazing to see a lot of fans, not just from Tunisia but from the Arab world. I know a lot of Muslims during me playing wish me a happy Eid. Even when I was serving it was like, Happy Eid. It was really amazing to have them.”
She has previously talked about how she has handled playing during times of religious fasting, most notably in 2017 when Ramadan fell during Roland-Garros, and explaining she was using a ‘credit system’ to observe the requirements.
“It’s hard to think about Ramadan,” Jabeur said then. “I mean, I can’t not eat or drink … obviously I cannot do 30 days in a row. But I just have to do it before the next Ramadan, for sure.”
What is Jabeur’s favourite surface?
Jabeur has said that her favourite surface is grass. “For now, grass,” she answered during Wimbledon 2022. “I think I’m going to choose grass (smiling). I love clay. I’ll put hard after, hard courts. I haven’t really got the chance to play on hard a lot, especially this season. I’m going to see what’s going to happen after grass.
“I think changing up the rhythm. When I’m serving better and good, especially the first serve, that helps me get the points that I want to have. It’s not easy sometimes to kind of play the slices that they make you play. With my hands, I think it helps me a lot to go forward to the net and finish the ball. I think one of the things that really helps me, I think most of the players would say that, you don’t know what to expect as a shot from me. I can really hit hard, I can really change the rhythm, I can really slice. That’s tricky. If I play someone who plays like that, I would be annoyed also.”
Jabeur has now reached back-to-back Wimbledon singles final in 2022 and 2023.