‘It Wasn’t Meant To Be,’ Says Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur

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Tunisian tennis star Ons Jabeur said “it wasn’t meant to be” as she was beaten 3-6 6-2 6-2 in the Wimbledon final by Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan, who won her first Grand Slam title.

With the final taking place on the day Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha, Jabeur had hoped to make it an even more joyous occasion by becoming the first African woman and the first Arab to win a Grand Slam singles title.

However, the Tunisian could not quite get over the finishing line, having failed to convert any of seven break points she earned in the last two sets.

Tunisian tennis star Ons Jabeur (R) and 2022 Wimbledon winner Elena Rybakina (L) with their trophies

“I really badly wanted that title. Maybe because I wanted it too much, I didn’t have it,” Jabeur said. “I did everything since the beginning of the year to really focus on this tournament. I even have the trophy picture on my phone. But it wasn’t meant to be.”

“I was expecting myself to return better, especially take the opportunities that I have to break her so many times. It is frustrating to play someone that serves really big and doesn’t give you the chance… She played most of the break points really well.”

“Deep inside I really tried everything that I can. I tried telling myself ‘This is not over, I trust you’. I even said ‘I love you’ to myself during the match. I couldn’t do more. It wasn’t meant to be,” She added.

But despite falling one set short of her ultimate goal, the Tunisian trailblazer knows that she has brought a lot of happiness to millions of people around the world.

She remains confident that it is only a matter of time before she joins the Grand Slam winners’ circle.

“I don’t disbelieve in myself and I know that I’m going to come back and win a Grand Slam, for sure. I have to learn from it, definitely,” said Jabeur, who can expect a memorable homecoming when she returns to Tunisia next week.

“I’m very, very positive about it. Just the beginning of great things for me… I’m trying to inspire many generations from my country. I hope they are listening.”

 

Chidi Nwoke/Reuters.

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