Ons Jabeur reveals 2023 AO health scare that left her team fearing she was dying

Jabeur experienced a health scare shortly after exiting last year's Australian Open.

by Dzevad Mesic
Ons Jabeur reveals 2023 AO health scare that left her team fearing she was dying
© Getty Images Sport - Mark Kolbe

Ons Jabeur had a serious health scare during last year's Australian Open as the Tunisian's team was left fearing for her life after the three-time Grand Slam finalist turned blue due to breathing problems.

During last year's Australian Open second-round match against Marketa Vondrousova, Jabeur was evidently struggling with something and it appeared that the former world No. 2 was having issues with her breathing. 

After the match, it only got worse as Jabeur started to experience even bigger difficulties with her breathing. At one moment, the 29-year-old turned blue and her team rushed her to the doctor. Later, the tests revealed that Jabeur had an enlarged nodule that was preventing oxygen from reaching her lungs.

“I thought she’s gonna die,” Jabeur's coach Issam Jellali said in This is Me on Tod.tv.

Ons Jabeur
Ons Jabeur© Getty Images Sport - Mark Kolbe

Jabeur surgically repaired her nodule

In early 2023 February, Jabeur announced she was undergoing an undisclosed surgery. Since Jabeur was dealing with a knee issue during the Australian swing, many thought that the Tunisian had a minor knee surgery. But instead, Jabeur had a procedure to reduce the size of the troublesome nodule. 

“For once in my life I had to put myself in front of everyone, my health in front of everyone. That’s something I don’t think I’ve done a lot in my career,” Jabeur said. 

Ons Jabeur
Ons Jabeur© Getty Images Sport - Matthew Stockman

The surgery went well and Jabeur was able to return to action in March. After being sidelined for nearly two full months, Jabeur returned by playing in back-to-back tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami.

Jabeur didn't do particularly well in Indian Wells and Miami but she won Charleston in April before also making her second Wimbledon final during the summer. In late 2023, Jabeur won her second title of the year in Ningbo.

Now, Jabeur is preparing to return to Melbourne Park and kick off her seventh Australian Open campaign. In Melbourne, Jabeur will undoubtedly be aiming for a major run as winning a Grand Slam remains her biggest goal.

Ons Jabeur Australian Open