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The Ons Jabeur Breakthrough

Last Updated: January 26, 2023
She vaulted into the Wimbledon finals, but Ons Jabeur’s sudden success is the product of years of dedication. Boardroom tells the tale of one of tennis’ most exciting emerging stars.

In the run-up to Wimbledon, Serena Williams returned with a doubles debut after a year of rest and rehab. She tapped one of the sport’s most rapidly ascending stars, Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur, to serve as her partner in on-court battle.

Although Jabeur went into Wimbledon ranked No. 2 in the world, her brush with the GOAT launched her into a new level of international notoriety and propelled her first-ever Grand Slam final appearance. Her affable appearances on and off the grass have garnered lots of attention, independent of her pristine play.

Now, Jabeur takes on Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina in the quest to lift the Venus Rosewater Dish.

So, who is Ons Jabeur? You’ve got questions, Boardroom has answers.

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Early Days of Ons

Jabeur took up the sport as a toddler, first hitting the court at age three. Inspired by her mother, Jabeur found a love for the game early and worked her way through the youth ranks, making waves with her signature forehand and volley game.

She captured international attention when she took home the Juniors title at the famed Roland Garros in 2010, and upon turning pro, Jabeur came to emerge as a fixture of the sport’s highest-level competitions, representing Tunisia at two Summer Olympics (2012, 2016). She’s no stranger to the intense scrutiny that comes with the global tennis stage as she sets her sights on the finals at the All England Club.

Ons Jabeur poses with her championship trophy following the women’s singles final match against Jessica Pegula at the 2022 Mutua Madrid Open (Pablo Morano/MB Media/Getty Images)

The Path to Centre Court

Although she experienced a stark surge in popularity in recent months, Ons has been putting in the work on the court for years. After crashing the gates of the WTA’s Top 100 in 2017, Jabeur has become a staple of the professional circuit, steadily ascending to her current world No. 2 ranking.

The last twelve months have signaled a professional breakthrough. Jabeur captured her first professional singles title at the Viking Classic Birmingham in 2021, where she also took home the doubles trophy alongside Australia’s Ellen Perez. Ons parlayed that success into a career year in 2022, securing titles at the Mutua Madrid Open and the German Open in Berlin.

In large part, she credits her success to her psychologist Melanie Maillard, with whom she works intently on cultivating the confidence she needs to play at the game’s highest level. Maillard is frequently seen in the stands when Jabeur plays; the player told her last year after her quarterfinals defeat that Wimbledon would be hers in 2022. So far, their collaboration has unlocked a new level of play.

Her performance ultimately captured the attention of Serena Williams, who tapped her in for a doubles debut at the Eastbourne International in the run up to Wimbledon. The two put in a solid performance over the course of two matches, but withdrew from their third so that Jabeur could tend to some injuries before taking Centre Court.

Through it all, Ons Jabeur is making her mark in the history books as the first-ever Arab and Muslim woman to make an appearance in the finals of a tennis Grand Slam.

Who is Ons Jabeur?

*Stats updated in advance of 2022 US Open Finals

  • Age: 28
  • Nationality: Tunisian
  • Height: 5-foot-6
  • Career prize money$7,659,743
  • Singles record: 384-211
  • Singles titles: 3
  • Key endorsements: Lotto, Wilson, Haval
  • Twitter followers175.8K
  • Instagram followers: 739K

The Road to the Finals

Jabeur’s trailblazing run has taken her all the way to the Wimbledon ladies’ singles final after triumphing 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 in a one-hour, 43-minute battle against Tatjana Maria.

The match was emblematic of the incredible incredible run that Jabeur has stitched together at this year’s tournament, where she’s dropped only two sets on the way to the championship round.

Ons Jabeur’s 2022 Wimbledon record
  • R1: Def. Mirjam Bjorklund (6-1; 6-3)
  • R2: Def. Katarzyna Kawa (6-4; 6-0)
  • R3: Def. Diane Parry (6-2 ; 6-3)
  • Round of 16: Def. Elise Mertens (7-6; 4-6)
  • Quarterfinals: Def. Marie Bouzková (3-6; 6-1; 6-1)
  • Semifinals: Def. Tatjana Maria (6-2; 3-6; 6-1)

Heading into Saturday’s match, Jabeur is the odds-on favorite (-156 at FanDuel Sportsbook) to take home the title against Rybakina.

As she enters Centre Court, the 27-year-old sensation is only getting things started. Jabeur is setting herself up to be part of the championship conversation for several years to come.

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About The Author
Bernadette Doykos
Bernadette Doykos
Bernadette Doykos is the Senior Director of Editorial Strategy at Boardroom. Before joining the team, her work appeared in ELLE. She previously served as the head of evaluation for a nonprofit where she became obsessed with systems and strategy and served as the curator of vibes and extinguisher of fires for the design thinking firm Stoked. She is constantly plotting a perfect tunnel ‘fit and a playlist for all occasions.
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