Ons Jabeur’s Wimbledon Journey Ignites Tunisia’s Passion

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Tunisian Tennis player.

Despite the scorching temperatures expected to reach 45º Celsius on Saturday, families and friends in Tunisia stand firm in their determination to gather and rally behind their national icon, Ons Jabeur, as she strives to make history in the Wimbledon final.

After her remarkable comeback against Aryna Sabalenka on Thursday, securing her consecutive spot in the final at the All England Club, Tunisians struggle to contain their growing excitement. The anticipation surges as they eagerly await the possibility of witnessing Jabeur’s triumphant moment, clinching her first-ever Grand Slam title. Ahead of the match, Sofien Achouri, a 30-year-old fan, expressed his pride in Ons Jabeur as both a Tunisian and a tennis enthusiast in an interview with The National.

Having closely followed Jabeur’s journey over the years, Achouri observed the significant influence she has had on Tunisian society, as her accomplishments and recognition continue to soar. Achouri shared that parents are now actively enrolling their children in tennis classes and encouraging them to emulate Jabeur’s path.

He believes this to be Jabeur’s most remarkable feat, as she has effectively shifted the focus of a country deeply entrenched in football-centric sports culture towards an individual sport that was previously seen as accessible only to the privileged few.

“Previously, tennis garnered attention solely during Roland Garros, with limited viewership,” added Achouri. “Now, we are witnessing a growing number of individuals passionately engaging in the sport and wholeheartedly supporting it.” Jabeur’s influence is undeniably reshaping the cultural landscape of the nation.

The sight of traditionally male-dominated popular cafes hosting special screenings for a female athlete and echoing resounding cheers akin to those heard during football matches is a truly extraordinary spectacle, highlighting the profound impact of Jabeur’s achievements.

Jabeur’s accomplishments represent just a fraction of the reasons why she is cherished by many. Her modesty, coupled with her pioneering role in advancing tennis within the Mena region, has profoundly touched people’s hearts on a global scale, transcending the boundaries of Tunisia.

Achouri further expressed, “Her conduct during interviews is truly praiseworthy, and it sets an example for how athletes should always carry themselves. “As a result, even those with little knowledge of tennis rally behind Jabeur whenever she competes, not just during the Grand Slams. “People are now associating Tunisia with Ons, can you believe it? It’s undeniable and fills us with immense pride,” shared Sarra, a 27-year-old law student.

Like many Tunisians, Sarra admitted her limited understanding of tennis, yet she wholeheartedly supports fellow Tunisians when they play. “I’m also proud that a woman like me has shattered barriers and proved herself,” Sarra emphasized.”

So, even though I wasn’t initially interested in tennis, I cheer for her because of her remarkable achievements. “For sports reporter Ramzi Bahroun, witnessing Jabeur’s growth over the years instills unwavering confidence that she will seize this golden opportunity on Saturday.

“Over the past two years, Ons Jabeur has made tremendous strides, exhibiting exceptional, top-tier tennis in this tournament,” Bahroun commented. “She has demonstrated remarkable maturity and development in her game, with people from Tunisia, the Arab world, and Africa all rooting for her success in the final,” he added.

Irrespective of the outcome, Jabeur has offered Tunisians a much-needed reprieve amidst scorching heatwaves and a challenging economic crisis. “At a time when joy is scarce in this country, she has brought happiness to the hearts of Tunisians,” Bahroun concluded.


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