Some players may relax in a match and lose to missed opportunities. Ons Jabeur finds fun in making good when facing tough matches head on. She had success doing it her way at Abu Dhabi
“I have to play with a smile on my face, it’s truly amazing to be back…” Tunisia’s star player Ons Jabeur says after her titled win at the Mubadala Tennis Open. She is riding the victory rails straight into 2023 feeling confident to defeat any opponents given to her.
But Jabeur seems comforted in dealing with two as her magical career number. She is currently ranked no. 2 behind the dynamic Iga Swiatek. It was earlier in the season that she made the finals twice in two Grand Slams. First it was Wimbledon, then the U.S.
Open. She landed in the Abu Dhabi’s exhibition event feeling great to have won the title last year and to try defending her title at Abu Dhabi for the second time. It was this matchup with Brit’s Emma Raducanu that proved Ons’ game is definitely on point.
Raducanu experienced her first time playing in the Mubadala event and says “I am thrilled to finally be making my debut in Abu Dhabi. I’ve heard great things about the fans and how supportive they are…I can’t wait to play in front of them all,” she’d said in anticipation on competing in the championship.
The U.S. Open proved to be the slam that the Tunisian had trouble with in meeting up in the final with the WTA’s no. 1, Iga Swiatek. They’ve met 5 times with Jabeur winning only twice. Last year was her best time on defeating the Polish young woman.
First at Wimbledon, winning only twice. Last year was her best time on defeating the Polish young woman. First at Wimbledon, winning on a three set match and then the Cincinnati Masters where ons played aggressive and won in straight sets.
When she gets on the competitive court she seem to always have her supportive fans waving fans, shouting and clapping for her to win. “I am most excited to see my fans there–I find them extremely special as they have supported me throughout every competition I have partcipated in this year,” she says smilingly.
But it’s easy to take things serious and in Jabeur’s mindset on winning she cannot be tense and apprehensive as she was in this year’s Wimbledon with Elena Rybakina as she’d lost in three sets. It is most evident that winning takes Ons Jabeur into a great formula of having a good time and getting her strategies in one recipe to outbeat her opponents.
She will indeed come into the new season with this know-how and says “I tried to remember to have a bit more fun on the court because that’s when I played my best and I did that.”