At the 2020 Australian Open, Ons Jabeur made history by becoming the first Arab woman to advance to the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam. On Monday, the Tunisian added another feather to her cap by becoming the first Arab woman to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals.
The magnitude of her achievement drew praise from all quarters, including accolades from her colleagues. After Ons Jabeur’s 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 fourth-round victory over seventh seed Iga Swiatek, Roger Federer was among those to congratulate her.
Jabeur revealed in her post-match press conference that such sentiments from the game’s legends inspire her to give it her all.
“Actually, Roger [Federer] thanked me after my match, which was incredible,” Ons Jabeur remarked. “In my tennis career, I believe I am now good enough. He was quite pleasant and took the time to congratulate me. That motivates me and makes me want to win even more.”
The World No. 24 continued to talk about the players who inspire her, revealing that Andy Roddick, the former US Open winner, is one of her heroes.
Today, being proactive was crucial: We are Jabeur.
Ons Jabeur had a chance to serve out the first set when she led Iga Swiatek 5-4, before the Pole bounced back to take it 7-5. However, Jabeur managed to push the setback aside and get into the groove soon after.
Swiatek is one of the most aggressive players out there, so the Tunisian knew she had to match her shot for shot rather than rely on her finesse alone to to do the job. Jabeur’s underrated firepower was the key in keeping the former French Open champion at bay on Monday.
“I had to keep calm rather than become irritated when I didn’t close out the first set because being angry would not have helped my cause,” Jabeur explained. “Today I decided to switch up my game a little bit because everyone knows I do drop shots, and being aggressive was crucial today.”