Sunday, June 5, 2011

ROLAND GARROS: Face of the Day - Ons Jabeur - French Open Junior Champion

Ons Jabeur carrying the Tunisian flag on Court 2 at Roland Garros after winning the Juniors title

Na Li may have made history for Asian tennis yesterday but today it was the Arabs' turn to triumph as 16-year-old Ons Jabeur claimed the Roland Garros Juniors Championship with an emphatic 7/6 6/1 victory over Puerto rican, Monica Puig, to become the first girl from North Africa to win a Grand Slam Juniors title.

No similar feat has been achieved by a North African, since Ismail El Shafei of Egypt won the 1964 Wimbledon Boys' singles title, eight years after Tunisian Mustapha Belkhodja won the French Open boys' singles title in 1956.

Jabeur had made the final at Roland Garros last year but fell short at the last hurdle and she came to Paris this fortnight on a specific mission to fulfill her dream and win a title in a tournament that is ever special to her.

"Last year's loss helped. I didn't want to go through that again," said Jabeur after her win on Sunday.

"But the hardest thing was the five months I was off the courts with a wrist injury. The tendon is still weak, but I made sacrifices and it was worth it. It is amazing to win at the French Open. I hope Tunisia is proud of me."

Jabeur will next take part in the Wimbledon Juniors Championship, where she reached the semifinals in doubles last year partnering Puig, her defeated opponent today.

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