Ons Jabeur opens up on motherhood dreams, how 2023 Wimbledon final loss paused that

Jabeur, 29, hopes to become a Grand Slam champion but to also have a baby soon.

by Dzevad Mesic
Ons Jabeur opens up on motherhood dreams, how 2023 Wimbledon final loss paused that
© Getty Images Sport - Joe Toth

Ons Jabeur says she absolutely wants to have a baby and suggests it is "now or never" for her to win a Grand Slam and then try to conceive a baby with her husband and return to tennis after giving birth. 

Jabeur, who will be turning 30 in August, has been very open about her big goal of winning a Grand Slam. In the last two years, the Tunisian came close to achieving her ultimate tennis dream a couple of times but she always fell just short. 

The last time Jabeur came very close to landing a Grand Slam came at 2023 Wimbledon when the 29-year-old made the final before Marketa Vondrousova handed her a 6-4 6-4 loss. After losing to Vondrousova and falling to a 0-3 record in her Grand Slam finals, Jabeur burst into tears and she looked absolutely crushed and devastated on the court. 

Later that year, Jabeur shared that one of the reasons why she felt so devastated was that winning Wimbledon would have given her a chance to also pursue her dreams of becoming a mother. 

“I love kids so much and I'm a family person, I always wanted to have kids on my own... Having Karim (Jabeur's husband and fitness trainer) by my side - who is a great person - and I'm sure he would be a great father” Jabeur said on the Tennis Insider Club podcast.

Ons Jabeur and Karim Kamoun
Ons Jabeur and Karim Kamoun© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Jabeur on what she meant by those baby comments after the 2023 Wimbledon final

After revealing that she would have tried to conceive a baby had she won last year's Wimbledon, it was understood that Jabeur meant that she was waiting to win a Grand Slam before pursuing her motherhood dreams. But now, Jabeur suggests that having a baby around the age of 29 was always her goal and that taking a pause from tennis would also benefit her after years of constantly competing at the highest level.

However, Jabeur appears to be reluctant to do that step now because pregnancy would almost certainly sideline her for at least a year and a half and she would have to start from the scratch and build her form and fitness all over again. With that being said, the perfect scenario for Jabeur would be to win a Grand Slam this year and then try to conceive a baby. 

“It wasn't actually linked you know, (having) a Grand Slam and having a baby you know..." Jabeur said. 

"But at 29-years-old my goal is to have a baby and come back, so it's the right time to do it and I feel like I'm honestly playing great tennis... So if I stopped I'm not sure how I'm gonna come back so it's now or never to win that Slam.

“I thought maybe going to that final if I win it maybe I can rest a bit you know, even my body is a little bit exhausted from playing a lot of tournaments, from having like three years of a lot of tournaments that doesn't help too, And every year you come to the tour and you're even more exhausted.

“So I thought a nice break to have a beautiful family will be amazing... And losing the final hurt me the most because it was a dream to win the title."

Ons Jabeur
Ons Jabeur© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Jabeur confident her Grand Slam moment will come

After becoming the first-ever Tunisian and Arab player to break into the top-10 in late 2021, Jabeur made more history the following year when she became the first Arab to make a Grand Slam final at Wimbledon. 

That year, Jabeur dropped just two sets en route to making the Wimbledon final, and considering that she was playing against Elena Rybakina, many were giving the edge to the Tunisian at the time. And Jabeur made a great start to her first Grand Slam final but then Rybakina stormed back to beat the Tunisian 3-6 6-2 6-2. 

After making her first Wimbledon final, Jabeur also made her first US Open final two months later. Again, Jabeur ended on the losing side but this time to Iga Swiatek. 

When Jabeur returned to the Wimbledon final last year, many had her as the favorite considering that she already had two Slam finals under her belt while 24-year-old Vondrousova was debuting in a Slam final. But Jabeur came out feeling tense and stressed, which ultimately led to a two-set defeat. 

However, Jabeur remains a firm believer that a Grand Slam win will come. 

"Everything happens for a reason and I gotta say make me stronger for sure, and I will definitely come back stronger and win Grand Slams," Jabeur said. 

Ons Jabeur
Ons Jabeur© Getty Images Sport - Mike Hewitt

At the start of the 2024 season, Jabeur lost to Mirra Andreeva in the Australian Open second round.

Ons Jabeur Wimbledon