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RANKING REACTION: ONS JABEUR MAKES HISTORIC RISE TO NEW CAREER-HIGH RANKING OF NO. 2

Ons Jabeur didn’t compete in singles this past week, but with Anett Kontaveit dropping points from reaching the final of Eastbourne last year, the two swapped places on the WTA rankings, with Kontaveit dipping from No. 2 to No. 3 and Jabeur moving up from No. 3 to No. 2.

And for Jabeur it’s not just a new career-high, it’s history: the Tunisian is now the highest-ranked player from an African country in either ATP or WTA rankings history.

She had previously been tied for the record with South Africa’s Amanda Coetzer, who went as high as No. 3 on the WTA rankings in 1997.

Now, Jabeur has her sights set on one of the biggest prizes of all: Wimbledon. After falling first round at Roland Garros, she’s taking a different approach to this one.

“Going into the French Open, I really felt that pressure of everybody expecting me to do well,” she told press at the All England Club on Saturday. “I wasn’t used to that. Just invisible player going to Grand Slams, doing well sometimes.

“But, yeah, I tried to learn from that, not overplay, not play a lot of matches on grass, just prepare myself for the main goal. For me the main goal was Wimbledon even before the year starts.”

She was asked to elaborate on why this was the one she had her eye on.

“I don’t know. I have a feeling about this one for some reason. Wimbledon has always, like, a special place in my heart. Before, it was the French Open, because it was always close to Tunisia, I grew up playing on clay a lot. But grass, I usually play football, not tennis! I mean, it’s amazing. What I experienced last year, the emotions on Centre Court, everything that happened, I think it became a dream.

“I wish I can have that dream one day.”

Jabeur kicks off her Wimbledon campaign on Monday against Swedish qualifier Mirjam Bjorklund.
Jabeur kicks off her Wimbledon campaign on Monday against Swedish qualifier Mirjam Bjorklund.

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