Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur becomes first Arab tennis player to enter top 10

Now she will be the first Arab player – male or female – to reach the top 10.

On Thursday, Jabeur beat Estonian Anett Kontaveit 7-5, 6-3, to reach the semi-finals of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells. The victory secures him a spot in the top 10 in singles when the standings are updated on Monday.

It was Jabeur’s 48th win in 2021, the most players in the WTA this season.

“When I spoke at the end of last season I said I wanted to be in the top 10,” said Jabeur, seeded 12 at Indian Wells, after Thursday’s win over the Estonian, seed 18.

“People doubted us as a team, but we proved them wrong.… We worked so, so hard. Being in the top 10 means a lot, but we’re not going to stop there. We’re gonna hopefully take it a step further and now focus on this tournament. “

This will be Jabeur’s first semi-final at a WTA 1000 level event, and she will face No. 21 seed Paula Badosa of Spain. The other semi will pit No.27 seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus against No.24 seed Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia.

Jabeur’s first career title came this year at the Viking Classic Birmingham. In 2020 at the Australian Open, she became the first Arab woman to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal. She also reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon this year.

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