Jabeur 'going full in' as she targets Wimbledon history

Jabeur 'going full in' as she targets Wimbledon history

Ons Jabeur says she wants to make history for Tunisia and Africa by winning a Grand Slam title after reaching her second successive Wimbledon final on Thursday.

Ons Jabeur at Wimbledon 2023

The sixth seed, a beaten finalist last year, powered back from a set and 4-2 down to beat world number two Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 6-3.

Jabeur, who has now fought back three times from dropping the first set at this year's tournament, will face unseeded Czech player Marketa Vondrousova, ranked 42nd, in Saturday's final.

The Tunisian trailblazer last year became the first African and Arab woman in the Open Era to reach a Grand Slam final at Wimbledon.

The 28-year-old has admitted she cannot bear to watch the video of last year's final, which she lost to Elena Rybakina after winning the first set.

Jabeur, who also lost in the US Open final in 2022, said the Tunisian fans were always behind her, whatever her results.

"The good thing about those people, they always tell me, 'Win or lose, we love you'," she said.

"That's great words to hear. I always try to remember that, even though I know everybody wants me to win. They're funny, because a few fans are texting my mental coach, giving her advice on how to coach me."

But the 28-year-old said she was laser-focused on winning.


- 'One goal' -

"For me there is one goal," she said. "I'm going for it. I will prepare 100 percent. Hopefully I can make history not just for Tunisia, but for Africa."

Jabeur said the "old me" would have lost Thursday's semi-final against Sabalenka.

"I'm working on myself like crazy," she said.

"You have no idea what I'm doing. Every time there is something, I'm very tough with myself, trying to improve everything. Very impatient sometimes, which is not good."

The Tunisian star said she had been focusing on the mental aspects of her game.

"I know if you are not ready physically, mentally you can always win. That's probably what happened in the last two matches."

Jabeur has had a tough run to the final, beating two-time former champion Petra Kvitova in the last 16 and third seed Rybakina in the quarter-final.

By doing so she became the first woman to defeat three top-10 players at Wimbledon since Serena Williams in 2012.

But she said she could not afford to take her eye off the ball on Saturday, even though she is taking on a player far lower down the rankings.

"I think a final is a final," she said. "You're playing someone, Grand Slam champion or not. I think it's going to be very difficult.

"It can happen for both. Whoever could handle more the emotions, whoever could be more ready on the court, will definitely win that match.

"For me, that's why I said I want to focus more on myself. I want to make my path worth it, winning against all these Grand Slam champions to be in the final. Yeah, I'm going full in, and hopefully this time it will work."

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