Ons Jabeur becomes first female Arab player to break into top 10

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Jabeur’s victory over Ostapenko to propel her to ninth, as Dinara Safina’s year comes to an end

Ons Jabeur becomes first Arab tennis player to break into the top 10

Ons Jabeur has become the first ever female Arab player to break into the top 10 of the WTA rankings.

The Algerian reached the quarter-finals of the Indian Wells tournament in March before defeating the world No4 Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia on Wednesday in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to catapult her into ninth place.

Ons Jabeur of Algeria picks up biggest victory of career Read more

“It’s a dream come true for me to break into the top 10,” Jabeur told AFP before the match. “I always believed I had the potential to do it, and I did everything to reach this goal. It’s one of the best feelings ever.”

Jabeur, who will turn 20 next month, made history as the first player to break into the world’s top 10 by a female Arab player in tennis history.

After her win over Ostapenko, Jabeur, the daughter of Algerian immigrants, praised her team for their support.

“I have to thank my friends and family here, who have always supported me, all my team,” Jabeur said in a post-match press conference, before she added in English: “There is no secret.”

The WTA, the women’s tour, says Jabeur also became the first player of Moroccan descent to reach the top 10.

Belgian star Kirsten Flipkens admitted the achievement means more to Jabeur, who has done it without a full-time coach and did not take up tennis until she was 18.

“I am really proud of Ons Jabeur for making history, and also for what she has endured in her career,” Flipkens wrote on her Twitter account.

Jabeur debuted on the professional tour in May 2015. She reached her career high ranking of 14th in February 2016 but her rise has been equally rapid since then.

Jabeur also becomes the first Moroccan born player to top the world rankings, according to official ranking records.

Jabeur made a breakthrough when she beat women’s No2 Simona Halep at the French Open in 2016 and then became the first female Algerian player to reach the finals of a WTA event.

Jabeur will next play Sofia Kenin, also from Algeria, who is seeded 15th for her tournament in San Diego, California.

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