Ons Jabeur beat Tatjana Maria to reach her maiden Grand Slam final at Wimbledon and afterward named Serena and Venus Williams as one of the players that inspired her tennis journey. Jabeur, 27, made tennis history after beating Maria 6-2 3-6 6-1 to become the first Arab or African woman to reach a Grand Slam final.
The week before Wimbledon, Jabeur teamed up with Serena Williams for the Eastbourne doubles. "My mom, to start with, she introduced me to the sport, always pushed me to do better, made me believe even more in myself. I loved watching Clijsters, Serena and Venus, Roddick, Billie Jean King is an amazing inspiration for all of us," Jabeur said.
#Jabeur on inspiration in sport/life: My mom, to start with, she introduced me to the sport, always pushed me to do better, made me believe even more in myself. I loved watching Clijsters, Serena & Venus, Roddick, Billie Jean King is an amazing inspiration for all of us.
— Ukrainian Tennis 🎾 ENG (@ukrtennis_eng) July 7, 2022
Jabeur set to battle Elena Rybakina
In the Wimbledon final, Jabeur faces 23rd-ranked Rybakina. Rybakina is enjoying a great Wimbledon as she upset 2019 Wimbledon champion Simona Halep 6-3 6-3 to reach her maiden Grand Slam final.
"She serves really well, so my main goal is to return as much balls as I can, to make her really work hard to win the point. I know she can hit really hard and hit a lot of winners. I know that my game could really bother her.
I really try to focus more on myself, do a lot of slices, try to really make her work hard," Jabeur said of playing Rybakina. "I know that type of players usually win the point in two, three shots. For me, I'm just going to continue and do what I do on the court." Jabeur and Rybakina will be going head-to-head for the fourth time in their respective careers when they meet in the Wimbledon final.
However, this will be their first meeting on grass. Jabeur lost the first meeting to Rybakina in 2019 but beat the Kazakh twice last year. Going into the final, Jabeur is probably the slight favorite and she will certainly feel well about her chances of lifting her maiden Grand Slam title.