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Ons Jabeur: first African woman in Wimbledon Final

Author: Muloongo Muchelemba
8 July 2022

Ons Jabeur made history on 7 July 2022 when she became the first African woman to reach the Wimbledon Women's Singles Final (note: the Zimbabwean tennis player, Cara Black, won the Wimbledon doubles title three times). The 27-year-old Tunisian, who became the World No. 2 at the end of June 2022, beat German player and close friend aka "barbecue buddy", Tatjana Maria, in a three-set thriller to reach her first-ever Grand Slam Final.

Jabeur was born on 28 August 1994 and started playing tennis at the tender age of three. She attended Lycée Sportif El'Menzah, a high school for gifted athletes from the age of 12 until 16 when she started training in Belgium and France. She turned pro at the age of 14 and won her first 10K title in Antalya, Turkey.

Tunisian fans cheering Ons Jabeur
Tunisian fans cheering Ons Jabeur in Rome in May 2022

Jabeur’s road to Grand Slam final was paved in the last three years when she made it to the third round of the US Open in 2019 and 2020; fourth round of the French Open in 2020; the quarterfinals of the Australian Open in 2020; and the quarterfinals at Wimbledon in 2021, after beating top players such as Venus Williams and Garbiñe Muguruza. She finally won her first singles title at the Birmingham Classic in 2021 and also won the 2021 Mubadala World Tennis Championship.

2022 has been an incredibly successful year for Jabeur. She won the 2022 Mutua Madrid Open in May 2022 and the German Open in June 2022. Prior to Wimbledon, she partnered with Serena Williams to reach the doubles semi-finals at the 2022 Eastbourne International, before withdrawing with a knee injury. The decision proved to be a wise one as she was able to recover and play her best tennis on the grass court in South-West London.

Wimbledon championship
Will Jabeur win the prestigious Wimbledon Finals?

Reaching the Wimbledon Finals will propel Jabeur’s star status to new heights, with the possibility of new sponsorship deals. She currently has a racquet sponsorship deal with Wilson; clothing and shoes sponsorship from Italian sports equipment manufacturer, Lotto; and sleeves sponsorship deal from Haval, by the Chinese automaker Great Wall Motors that specialises in crossovers and SUVs. She also signed a deal with Qatar Airways in 2020.

As Jabeur walks onto Centre Court on tomorrow, ONGOLO will join the people of Tunisia and all Africans in cheering her own. #TeamOJ

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