California: Ons Jabeur becomes the first Arab player to reach the top 10 in the world rankings after reaching the Indian Wells semi-finals, and the Tunisian said she was just getting started.
Jabeur, previously ranked 14th, reached the final of the Chicago Fall Tennis Classic earlier this month and became the first Arab player to win a WTA title at the Birmingham Classic in June.
The 27-year-old defeated Estonian Anett Kontaveit in the quarter-finals in the California desert 7-5, 6-3 and used five of her 12 breakpoint chances on the way to her 48th every player on the tour this season.
âAs if it were a dream come true. That’s something I wished for … when I was 16, âJabeur said.
âTop 10 is the beginning. I know that I’ve earned this place for a long time because I’ve played well. But I want to prove that I deserve to be here. âJabeur, who will face Spaniard Paula Badosa in her first WTA 1000 semi-final today, said she has faced many obstacles in her career because of her background.
“I was turned down by sponsors because of my background, which is not fair,” she said. âI didn’t understand why before, I accepted it. I’m really proud of who I have become today, only I don’t depend on others.
âEveryone has probably had a difficult career. I’m not saying I have the hardest part.
âI didn’t want to be dependent on a sponsor or someone who wasn’t even interested in tennis or sports in general. It gave me the courage to move on and achieve my goals and I’m in the top 10 today. “