Eurosport’s Barbara Schett believes Ons Jabeur is an “inspiration” on and off the court after she became the first African women to reach a Grand Slam final since 1960.
Jabeur beat Tatjana Maria 6-2 3-6 6-1 to reach Saturday’s Wimbledon final and will face Elena Rybakina, who became the first singles player from Kazakhstan to make a major final.
“It’s fantastic to see Ons Jabeur being so successful; especially if you look at how she started playing tennis,” said Schett.
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“There was no tennis centre around, she had to start playing in hotels to be able to play. She’s been on the tour for quite some time, and slowly but surely, she’s got better.
“She’s not just inspirational in the way she plays, but she also has fun on the court. She has so much variety as well – which we don’t see these days – but she is inspiring to so many African women [and] people and that community.
“[That is] what is important to her, and she is a down to earth woman, which is the most important thing. If she wins Wimbledon or not, I don’t think it will change her at all.”
- History-maker Jabeur into first Wimbledon final after battling past Maria
- Jabeur and Maria’s sporting gesture after semi-final showed ‘so much love’
‘I favour Rybakina a bit because of her power tennis’ – Schett previews final with Jabeur
Eurosport expert and seven-time Grand Slam champion Mats Wilander echoed Schett’s comments, calling Jabeur a “role model”.
“People are an inspiration when they pursue they passion; when they’re having a good time, when they share their enthusiasm, and in that way inspire people,” added Wilander.
“On top of that, when you have the guts that Ons Jabeur shows by saying she wants to win Wimbledon, by saying she wants to improve. Then actually doing it as well.
“She’s a role model and she’s ticking pretty much every box and whatever you are as a tennis player, tennis fan, you’re going to get inspired by Ons Jabeur.”
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Watch daily highlights from Wimbledon at 10pm on Eurosport 2 and discovery+ from June 27, as well as the two singles finals live on July 9 and 10.
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