Tunisian Ons Jabeur, world No.3, announced on Wednesday that she would soon undergo a "minor operation", and that she was thus forfeited for the WTA 500 tournaments in Doha and WTA 1000 in Dubai this month.
"To take care of my health, my medical team decided that I had to undergo a minor operation in order to return to the courts and have good results," Jabeur, 29, wrote on his Facebook page, without specifying the exact nature. of this operation.
She added that she must therefore "withdraw (from the next tournaments) in Doha and Dubai", scheduled for next week and February 19-25 respectively. "It breaks my heart," she explained, saying "sorry to the fans in the Middle East".
"I promise to come back stronger and healthier," added Jabeur. Finalist of the last Wimbledon and US Open, the Tunisian was eliminated in the second round of the Australian Open on January 19.
Ons Jabeur, who in 2020 became - when she was 78th in the world - the first player from the Arab world to reach the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam tournament in Melbourne, appeared to be in pain throughout the match, committing 50 unforced errors.
In 2022, she was unable to participate in this same Australian Open due to a back injury. After finishing the year in second place in the world rankings, Jabeur fell to third, behind Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka and the untouchable Polish Iga Swiatek.
The player enjoys immense popularity in Tunisia, a country affected by a deep political and economic crisis, where she has been nicknamed "Minister of Happiness" for the joy brought by her tennis exploits.
In several interviews, notably with AFP, she said she wanted to be "an example" of tenacity and determination for young Tunisians.
Since she rose to the highest level, registrations in tennis clubs have exploded in Tunisia, in particular where she hit her first balls, in Hammam Sousse, in the suburbs of the seaside resort of Sousse (centre- East).