A quarterfinal berth at the 2020 Australian Open marked Ons Jabeur’s arrival as a Grand Slam force but the Tunisian trailblazer will not be satisfied with a repeat performance at Melbourne Park this year.
After reaching the finals at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open last year, Jabeur is hoping to go one better in Australia and become the first Arab woman to win a Grand Slam title.
“Yeah, I may not be as happy as I was in 2020 reaching the quarter-final,” the 28-year-old told reporters with a smile.
“I’m going to put more pressure on myself because I feel like sometimes you just need that to be one of the top players.
“I want to be number one in the world, not just the number but also the level and the discipline around it. I want to win more titles and get that Grand Slam title, for sure.”
A relatively late bloomer, Jabeur’s recent success has made her a star in the Arab world and seen her sign with Naomi Osaka’s sports management agency Evolve in partnership with Tunisian agent Adel Aref.
It has also meant her own episode on Netflix’s behind-the-scenes tennis series “Break Point”, in which she says she resisted expectations that she would quit tennis and become a housewife.
“Actually I skipped to my episode,” she said.
“We actually filmed more things. It’s not there. I’m still waiting for the second part because I feel like there are a lot of things we filmed at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. Hopefully I can see that.”
She said she and her husband-trainer Karim Kamoun each had pictures on their phones of different trophies after setting goals for 2023 - but she was coy about which ones.
“My goal is to not lose any more finals,” she added.