Stars of the tennis world and beyond celebrate Ons Jabeur's becoming the first Arab WTA champion
[June 21, 2021: Josh Shavit]
Ons Jabeur made sporting history Sunday, winning her first title at the 2021 Viking Classic Birmingham to become the first Arab woman to win a WTA title. One of the most popular figures in the locker room, the Tunisian has been inundated by messages from her fellow competitors and the legends of the game. Billie Jean King, Kim Clijsters and Jabeur's childhood idol Andy Roddick all took a moment to recognize her.
The 26-year-old came through in her third final and second of the season, having done so earlier in the spring at the MUSC Women's Health Open in Charleston. The World No.24 nearly completed a sweep of titles in Birmingham, coming within a handful of points with Ellen Perez in the final before losing to Czech duo Marie Bouzkova and Lucie Hradecka.
As she continues to check off milestone after milestone, Jabeur's trailblazing CV just keeps getting longer. She was already the first Arab woman to win a junior Slam title at 2011 Roland Garros and became the first Arab woman to advance to the third round and beyond at a Slam. Already the highest-ranked Arab woman of all time, Jabeur hopes to see her legacy not in her own accomplishments, but in what comes after her.
"I hope I can make history by inspiring other people behind me, Tunisian or Arabic or from my nation will be great," Jabeur told WTA Insider. "That would be the best thing I can do. I hope I can inspire more and more generations."
Jabeur's historic achievement also resonated outside of the tennis community. Amel Karboul, the first female Minister of Tourism in Tunisia, Edward Oakden, British Ambassador to Tunisia, and Tunisian pop singer Latifa all lauded the historic moment.
Check out the comments of Jabeur's Instagram post to see the flurry of sports and entertainment stars offer their congratulations, including Olympic bronze medalist fencer Ines Boubakri, Tunisian-Egyptian actress Hend Sabry and free-diving world-record holder Walid Boudhiaf.
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