Tunisian star Ons Jabeur created history on Sunday as she became the first Arab woman to win a tour singles title. The No.2 seed beat Russian Daria Kasatkina in straight sets 7-5,6-4 to win the Birmingham Classic. Jabeur had lost in her two previous finals; one to Kasatkina herself at Moscow in 2018 and the other earlier this season at the in Charleston to Astra Sharma.
With her victory, Jabeur now has 28 match wins in 2021- the highest on tour alongwith world no.1 Ash Barty. The Tunisian is currently 24th in the world and will play at Eastbourne next where she will face Marketa Vondrousova in the first round on Tuesday.
Jabeur has been the flagbearer of Arab women on the WTA tour for almost a decade now. She is also the first Arab woman to:
- Win a junior Slam (2011 RG)
- Make a Grand Slam 3R (2017 RG)
- Make a Grand Slam QF (2020 AO)
- Win a WTA singles title (2021 Birmingham)
- Rank inside the Top 70 – Currently highest-ranked ever at No.24.
‘I want to see more Arabic and Tunisian players playing with me on tour’: Ons Jabeur
After the match in the trophy presentation ceremony, Jabeur expressed her delight and said that he hopes to inspire many Arab woman. She also wants to see other Tunisians to play with her on tour.
“I knew I had to go for it, I had to win this title to at least breathe, and give an example,” Jabeur said. “There’s not a lot of Tunisian or Arabic players playing, so I hope this could inspire them, and I want to see more Arabic [players] and Tunisians playing with me on tour.”
She then shared a funny conversation between herself and Kasatkina. “Last time we played was in Moscow, she (Kasatkina) won, and I was crying, it was a great battle. I told her, ‘Can you please share some titles with me, at least, let me win my first WTA?’,” she joked.