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“I will go just for doubles” An ‘over the moon’ Ons Jabeur reveals how she teamed up with Serena Williams in the American’s return to tennis

Ahead of teaming up with Serena Williams for the doubles event in Eastbourne, Ons Jabeur discloses how the two players joined forces as Serena returns after 1 year.

Serena Williams and Ons Jabeur

After being on the sidelines for almost a complete year, Serena Williams confirmed on the 14th of June that she will indeed be playing at the 2022 Wimbledon Championships and also at the 2022 Eastbourne International in order to get some match practice. Serena will be teaming up with World No. 4 Ons Jabeur in the doubles event, teaming up with the Tunisian for the first time.

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While the whole tennis world was buzzing with Serena’s return, Ons had an additional reason to be excited as she was finally having her dream come true of sharing the court with Williams and that too as her partner and not her opponent. The 2022 Rothesay International will be played in Eastbourne from 19th to 25th June with the event being one of the only two WTA-500 events on the grasscourts.

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“I’m going to try to be the doubles specialist for the next week”: Ons Jabeur

Ons Jabeur

With Serena and Ons yet to meet in a professional match as opponents, getting the opportunity to team up is pretty surreal for Jabeur who had not even trained with the 23-time Grand Slam champion. Ons revealed that the decision was made prior to the 2022 French Open with the arrangement done by their respective coaches Issam Jellali and Eric Hechtman.

“Doubles specialist! Oof, I’m still over the moon. I found out before the French Open, and it’s an honour and privilege to play with her. I’m actually nervous, but I’m going to try to be the doubles specialist for the next week and hopefully make zero mistakes. But it’s a great honour to play with such a legend, and to be able to really share the court with her is unbelievable because we never played each other and now we’re playing next to each other—we are a team.

“I’m really excited to be in Eastbourne next week, more and more excited than ever. Hopefully, it’s going to be a great tournament for both of us. My coach, he’s in contact with her coach, Eric [Hechtman]. And yeah, I mean, “Would I play doubles with Serena?” I mean, obviously, the answer was yes. She was coming back; I didn’t know where. I wasn’t sure, actually, to play at Eastbourne. But now I’m 100 percent sure I will go, just for doubles,” said Ons as per the ‘Racquet’.

Ons Jabeuer shares one of her moments with Serena Williams

Serena Williams with daughter Olympia

Having turned Pro in 2010, Ons has been in and around the circuit for a long time and while she hasn’t played Serena, the two would have definitely met at tournament sites where they both were participating. Jabeur shared one such moment during the interview that also had Serena’s daughter Olympia present.

“We talked to each other a few times. She’s very nice, especially when she was with her daughter. I was trying to speak French a little with her; she could speak really good French. And we had a moment when she was pregnant. I said, “Congratulations,” and she said, “Thank you, Ons.” And I was like, “You know my name? Really? You know I exist?” So it’s great. I’ve practised with Venus more, never with Serena; hopefully, we will get our first practice next week. 

“I have no idea(why she chose Ons). I hope she was, yeah (Watching her in Madrid). [Laughs] I mean, I’m pretty lucky that she picked me, and I’m going to try to be 100 percent on the court, and serve like Andy Roddick, make volleys like the Bryans, just trying to be really good on the court. Me, I’m playing singles as well, but the focus is on doubles now,” added Jabeur.

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