Ons Jabeur issues brutally honest confession amid big struggles over last year

Just not long time ago, Jabeur was widely regarded as one of the top players and a legit title contender for the biggest titles.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Ons Jabeur issues brutally honest confession amid big struggles over last year
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Mason

Ons Jabeur made a brutally honest comment following a tight French Open second-round win as the Tunisian tennis star admits there is a reason why she is not anymore regarded as a top favorite in the biggest tournament and why her name isn't mentioned in the same sentence with the likes of Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina.

Just two years ago, Jabeur made back-to-back Grand Slam finals at Wimbledon and the US Open, as well as achieved a career-high ranking of No. 2 in the world. That year, Jabeur also won her first WTA 1000 title and also made her WTA Finals debut.

In 2023, Jabeur's form declined but she was dealing with injuries and setbacks. Still, Jabeur managed to put up a big Wimbledon run and reach her third Grand Slam final. Sadly for the Tunisian, she was beaten by Marketa Vondrousova in the final and fell to a 0-3 record in her Grand Slam finals played.

Since then, Jabeur has managed to win a WTA 250 tournament in Ningbo in late 2023. But other than that, Jabeur hasn't enjoyed much or any success since then. However, it should be noted that the Tunisian was hampered by a knee injury earlier this year, during a five-match losing streak between February and April. 

After suffering a second-round loss at this year's Australian Open, Jabeur has managed to reach the French Open third round after beating Sachia Vickery 6-3 6-2 and Camila Osorio 6-3 1-6 6-3.

Ons Jabeur
Ons Jabeur © Getty Images Sport - Clive Mason
 

Although world No. 9 Jabeur is still ranked inside the top-10 and she made three Grand Slam finals in the last two years, currently she isn't anymore being regarded as one of the biggest favorites and legit contenders on the biggest stage.

Jabeur: Obviously, I am what I am today...

Jabeur, who is just 8-9 this year, kept it real after surviving the Osorio test when addressing her current state. 

"Obviously I am what I am today. And if people are not talking about me like they're talking about Iga Swiatek or Aryna Sabalenka or Elena Rybakina, it's for a reason, you know. I just want to have what I deserve. I deserve to be in spot eight - or nine, because Jessica Pegula pulled out. But, yeah, that's tennis," Jabeur admitted. 

Ons Jabeur
Ons Jabeur © Getty Images Sport - Clive Mason
 

As mentioned above, there was a period earlier this season when Jabeur was on a five-match losing streak. But over the last month, Jabeur has shown some signs of improvement as she was a quarterfinalist in Madrid and has now also managed to get through the opening two matches in Paris.

Jabeur's current level may not be the best but the Tunisian remains hopeful that she can soon rediscover her old tennis.

"I am hanging in there. I'm trying, you know, to get back to my level, or at least very close to the level I was at. It's not easy, but nothing is sure in tennis. You can play unbelievably and lose, and you can play badly and win," Jabeur added.

Jabeur calls for more coverage of women's tennis

Over the last few years, Jabeur has been very open about her belief that people simply need to give women's tennis more chances because that's the least that can be done. 

During her Madrid quarterfinal run, Jabeur called out the tournament organizers because she felt they were giving the edge to the men. 

Now at Roland Garros, the Tunisian repeated one of her past messages, where she insisted that more of women's tennis matches need to be put on TV. When making her point clear, the three-time Grand Slam finalist acknowledged that French Open director Amelie Mauresmo has been putting up effort in that department but that more is needed. 

“I'm going to get in trouble again, aren't I?” Jabeur asked with a smile on her face. 

"Listen, I know they're trying here. I wish they'd try more. It's not something we'll change in a day. I'm watching TV every day. A lot of men matches more than women, and that is the truth. I mean, I'm not gonna lie about it.

“I think Amelie is doing an amazing job and is trying to change that, but these things, they take time. I wish I can see the change more. 

"Obviously I wish I can see more, like I wish I saw Osaka and Iga's match today as a night session. But it's a choice. I understand that. Maybe the prime time is now. I don't know. Again, I will keep pushing for that, and I wish really to see promoting more women's sport in general and women's tennis in general.”

Ons Jabeur
Ons Jabeur © Getty Images Sport - Clive Mason
 

Meanwhile, Jabeur plays Leylah Fernandez in the French Open third round.

Ons Jabeur
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