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Young Tunisian tennis players dream of Grand Slam finals 'like Ons Jabeur'

9-yar-old Lina, 9-year-old Yasmine, and 10-year-old Emna pose for a picture ahead of a local tournament at the Tennis Club of Tunis on July 15, 2023.   -  
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FETHI BELAID/AFP or licensors


On many tennis courts across Tunisia, her name is on everyone's lips. Ons Jabeur, the only Arab woman and only North African tennis player to participate in the final at a Grand Slam tournament has entered history.

The player who's now competed in three Grand Slam finals continues to set records for Arab and African players. At a sporting club in Tunis, Yasmine, Lina and Emna talked about their role model.

"I see myself becoming a great tennis player like Ons Jabeur and taking part in great matches," Yassmine Bem Mabrouk, a nine-year-old tennis player said.

"I want to become like Ons Jabeur and take part in Grand Slam tournaments like Wimbledon and Rolland Garros," Lina Chedli, fellow nine-year-old player doubled down.

"When I see Ons, I dream of becoming better than her, or like her, and reaching the Grand Slam final," Emna Bartagisse a ten-year-old player shared.

28-year-old Jabeur has become a national icon and achieved the feat of putting the spotlight on tennis in a football dominated nation.

Fans praise her dynamic game, which includes drop shots and approaches to the net, and her sense of camaraderie.

"When they see Ons Jabeur participate twice, two years in a row, in two Grand Slams and reach the final, children and parents are inspired and encourage their children to play the sport even more," Ibtisem Treimech, mother of Lina, a young tennis player confessed.

The star continues to push the limits, despite a sometimes difficult period following a series of recent injuries to her wrist and calf. This has undoubedtly earned her a lot of admiration.

She suffered a shock loss 6-4, 6-4 on Saturday (Jul. 15) to Czech Marketa Vondrousova in the Wimbledon tennis championships final.

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