Skip to content

Tunisia's Ons Jabeur will become the first Arab player to crack the top 10

Ons Jabeur punched her ticket to the BNP Paribas Open's final four with a straight-sets victory in Indian Wells; It was also a history-making result for Jabeur, as the victory guarantees she will become the first Arab man or woman to earn a top 10 singles ranking

Ons Jabeur, of Tunisia, reacts to her win over Anett Kontaveit, of Estonia, at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, in Indian Wells, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Image: Ons Jabeur will become the first Arab player to crack the top 10 of the world rankings

Ons Jabeur will become the first Arab player to crack the top 10 of the world rankings after reaching the Indian Wells semi-finals on Thursday.

The 27-year-old defeated Estonia's Anett Kontaveit 7-5 6-3 in the California desert, converting five of her 12 break-point chances on the way to her 48th match win of the season, the most of any player on the Tour this season.

"Top 10 I know is the beginning," Jabeur said in post-match comments.

"I know I deserve this place from a long time since I was playing well. But I want to prove that I deserve to be here, I deserve to be one of the top 10 players.

"There is a lot of things that I need to improve. I'm very happy, a lot of emotions right now, but I'm still in competition so I'm trying to calm down and not overthink about top 10. Probably will celebrate after the tournament. I just believed in myself, I worked hard, and this is just the beginning of great things."

Jabeur, who will face Spain's Paula Badosa in her first WTA 1000 semi-final on Friday, said she faced many obstacles in her career because of her background.

"I've been rejected by sponsors because of where I come from, which is so not fair," she said. "I didn't understand why before, I accepted it. I am really proud of the person I became today, just not relying on others.

Also See:

"Everybody probably had a difficult career. I'm not saying I have the most difficult one.

"I didn't want to depend on a sponsor or someone who doesn't even care about tennis or sport in general. It gave me the courage to continue and achieve my goals, and I'm in top 10 today."

Badosa upset German 10th seed Angelique Kerber 6-4 7-5 and after her match she spoke about taking on Jabeur for a place in the final.

The Spaniard said: "She's really talented, she plays different as well, very tricky opponent, she's gonna be a very tough one, she's gonna make me run a lot so, I will have to be ready for that. Then, she's playing very good so, I expect a very tough one."

Don't forget to follow us on, our Twitter account @skysportstennis & Sky Sports - on the go! Available to download now on - iPhone & iPad and Android

Around Sky