Jabeur’s journey to the top of the game has been circuitous, but always there was an eye-catching, unique quality to her tennis. She’s a creative force on the court, and a daring shot-maker.
The pandemic has wreaked havoc on the sport in so many ways, but one thing coronavirus couldn’t stop is Jabeur’s single-minded quest to raise her ranking.
After becoming the first Arab woman to ever reach a Grand Slam quarter-final at this year’s Australian Open, the 26-year-old Tunisian has continued her fine form since tennis restarted following a five-month hiatus.
She’ll aim for her best result yet in Paris when she faces the No.8 seed, Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, in round three.
“The mindset is the same,” the North African said on Thursday. “I always want to achieve the top-20 ranking.”
Currently ranked 35, Jabeur is playing like a woman possessed, eager to leave it all on the court before the abbreviated 2020 tennis season comes to a close.
“I put something in my head that I kind of got sick being all the time in top 50 or top 100,” Jabeur says. “I know that I was able to win against some players from top 10, top 20. I know I had my spot in there. I pushed more. I was not afraid to push more or get injured.”