Maria Sharapova met Ons Jabeur this past weekend after speaking very highly of the Tunisian in recent times. Sharapova, a former five-time Grand Slam champion, attended the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix during the weekend. Jabeur, who is currently recharging after a very long and exhausting 2023 season, also attended the event.
It wasn't something planned as Sharapova revealed that she came to Abu Dhabi to root for F1 superstar Lewis Hamilton. After bumping into each other, Sharapova and Jabeur posed together for a photo.
What Sharapova recently said about Jabeur?
Jabeur, 29, is widely known as one of the most likable characters in the locker room.
In September, Sharapova revealed that she admires Jabeur and that she is rooting for the Tunisian to win a Grand Slam one day. "The rivalries, you either have one dominant player or everyone has a shot and I think in your time what made it interesting were the rivalries because you picked teams and you hope somebody wins, somebody loses now we are getting there with the Ons Jabeur, the Sabalenka, Rybakina," Andrea Petkovic said during her conversation with Sharapova on the Rennae Stubbs Tennis Podcast.
In her response to Petkovic's comments, Sharapova said: "I'm rooting for Ons to win her first Grand Slam, she deserves that so much." Sharapova also spoke very positively of Jabeur in Netflix's tennis documentary "Break Point." In the documentary, Sharapova applauded Jabeur for making it in tennis from a very difficult situation. "To come from nowhere, without any resources, without investments and getting past all the barriers and significance of what that means for her country, for herself, for her family, it's incredible.
When I look at Ons, I think that I wouldn't have matched up well against her. She would have been a nightmare to play against. Thank God I'm retired, because that slice, oh God," Sharapova said of Jabeur's success on the fourth episode of Break Point.