Tunisia’s star tennis player Ons Jabeur on Wednesday thanked the country’s president and all the people that supported her impressive run to the quarter-finals of the Australia Open.
Jabeur, the first Arab woman to reach the last eight of a Grand Slam, went down 6-4, 6-4 to the American Sofia Kenin.
Prior to that match, Jabeur, who was also the Tunisian woman to win a main-draw match at the Australian Open received a phone call from the country’s president.
I am trying to inspire many young generation back home either in Tunisia or the Arabic world, especially in Africa, which is amazing.
“I actually talked to the president of Tunisia. He called me and wished me good luck, that was really nice of him,’‘ she said.
“I talked to a lot of politicians in Tunisia. They called me also. Everyone is crazy. A lot of people are calling and wishing me good luck.”
Asked if she had a message for Tunisian President Kais Saied and the country’s rulers, she said: “I don’t know, maybe lowering the tax would be a good idea.
“I don’t want to get into politics a lot because I’m probably not good at it.”
Inspiring Africans, Arabs
The 25-year-old hopes to inspire more players from her region to succeed at the highest level.
‘‘I am trying to inspire many young generation back home either in Tunisia or the Arabic world, especially in Africa, which is amazing,” she said.
Jabeur, who turned down opportunities to train abroad, describes herself as a “100% Tunisian product”.
“I got a lot of offers to go to college in the U.S… wasn’t really an option for me,” said Jabeur, who is ranked 78th in the world.
“We don’t have much experience in Tunisia. But hopefully now we can see more and more.”ALSO READ: Tennis star Sharapova’s Africa trip to beautiful Botswana, riveting Rwanda