The African Ace aiming to make Wimbledon history

Dylan Bettencourt

Ons Jabeur is confident that she can become the very first African woman to win a Wimbledon title.

The Tunisian, the number three seed, has emerged as the favourite to win the title after number one seed Iga Swiatek and number two seed Anett Kontaveit were eliminated in the early rounds.

Jabeur held out against Elise Mertens on Sunday to book her spot in the quarter-final of the competition.

With only three unseeded players remaining, the 27-year-old senses an opportunity to make history at Wimbledon.

“I have set my goals very high for this tournament. I’m going to keep doing that,” she said.

“No matter who’s coming, I’m going to build the fight. I’m going to fight till the end because I really want the title.”

The clash against Mertens was tight and intense with the pendulum swinging both ways as to who would emerge victorious.

But it was the style of the Tunisian that got her through to the next round.

“It was stressful and enjoyable,” Jabeur said.

“Mertens is a great opponent. It is never easy to play her and I had to dig very deep in that tie-break. But I love playing on grass. I love the connection with nature and myself and hopefully I will continue all the way to the finals.”

After becoming the first Arabic player, male or female, to enter the top 10 rankings, she earned the label of being a trailblazer.

“I love this sport. I want to see more players from the African continent. I want them to believe in themselves and believe they can be here,” she said.

“I don’t come from a rich family. Africans have to stop finding excuses and go for it.”

However, if Jabeur went all the way, she would not be the first African to claim a Wimbledon title. South African ace Frew Donald McMillan won three doubles titles at Wimbledon over his career.

The third seed will face Czech Bouzkova on Tuesday for a place in the final four.

Image source: @DailyMaverick


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