Saturday, June 4, 2011

ROLAND GARROS: Ons Jabeur - A Ray of Light in Arab Tennis

There is an Arab tennis player in the finals at Roland Garros... The Juniors Championship at Roland Garros to be precise, and she's Tunisian, 16, and fierce!

Ons Jabeur will be playing on Sunday her second straight French Open Girls' Singles final and this year, she'll try to go a step further than last and win the trophy.

Jabeur toppled several tough opponents along the way including the tournament top seed, Daria Gavrilova, and French favorite, Caroline Garcia, who had taken a set off Maria Sharapova in the ladies' singles draw.

Jabeur is ranked 12th in the world juniors rankings and 746 in the WTA rankings.

In the interview below she was asked when she planned on making the transition to the WTA circuit and the Tunisian said she will play the juniors competition at Wimbledon first then she will try to switch her focus to the WTA.

She was also asked why she chose to play the Roland Garros Juniors competition again after she reached the final last year, and the Tunisian said it's been a dream of hers to win Roland Garros, regardless if it was in the girls or ladies category. She was disappointed that she lost last year and she'll do her best to win it this year.

Not in many contexts can you find 16-year-old's talking like mature adults but in sport, it's not only possible, but it's common. When Jabeur was asked if it was risky returning to Roland Garros after making the final last year, she replied with a smile saying, yes it was risky but she went through it because life is full of risks!

Jabeur's final is against Puerto Rican Monica Puig, who is ranked 314 in the WTA rankings and is one year her senior.

The match is scheduled second from an 11:00a.m start on Court 2 and it should be aired on Jazeera Sport 2. Best of luck to the Arab teen, who is definitely an inspiration to our youth.

And to those who don't think it's a big deal making the finals in the juniors competition at a Grand Slam, all I can say is that in Egypt, we've been bragging about Ismail El Shafei winning the Wimbledon Juniors title for the past 47 years.

None of the active Arab tennis players have matched Jabeur's feat and I hope she continues to excel, and makes a swift transition to the ladies' circuit!

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