Tunisians gather in front of TVs to watch Ons Jabeur at Wimbledon

TUNIS, Tunisia — In Tunisia, there’s no higher option to escape the extreme heatwave than to move inside and watch Wimbledon on TV when Ons Jabeur is enjoying.

The 28-year-old Jabeur, the one Arab lady and solely North African lady to take part in a Grand Slam tennis closing, will once more play for the Wimbledon championship on Saturday — a yr after shedding within the title match on the All England Membership.

“Ons has introduced us lots of pleasure,” Ameur Ben Ahmed instructed The Related Press. “She makes us momentarily overlook the difficulties of on a regular basis life in these instances of disaster and shortages.”

Tunisians are in want of hope as their economic system teeters towards collapse, with excessive debt, inflation and joblessness together with worsening political and social tensions.

Regardless of the heatwave that has been raging within the nation for a number of days, many Tunisians have been deserting the seashores to observe Jabeur’s matches, both on large screens in cafes or in resort lounges.

Jabeur reached two main tennis finals final yr, additionally shedding on the U.S. Open, however she’s hoping her third likelihood at a Grand Slam trophy would be the fortunate one.

And she or he definitely feels the help coming from again residence.

“The advantage of these folks, they all the time inform me, win or lose, we love you,” Jabeur stated Thursday after defeating Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-3 within the semifinals. “That’s nice phrases to listen to.”

Jabeur was dubbed the Minister of Happiness final yr, partly due to the way in which she performs the sport with a lot pleasure.

Certainly one of her nation’s actual ministers stated he’s planning to be on the All England Membership for Saturday’s closing, when Jabeur will face Marketa Vondrousova on Centre Court docket for the Venus Rosewater Dish.

“I need to inform Ons that Tunisia is happy with you and that the 12 million Tunisians shall be behind you regardless of the end result of the ultimate,” Minister of Youth and Sport Kamel Deguiche stated on Radio Mosaique on Friday.

Her followers are extra than simply proud. One man, Mansour Belgacem, stated Tunisia ought to erect a statue to Jabeur “in recognition of her providers to the nation and sport.”

Deguiche appeared to have greater plans, nonetheless. The sports activities minister famous the federal government’s willingness to help Jabeur’s undertaking to arrange a tennis academy in Tunisia.

“It’s the least Tunisia can provide her,” he stated. “Because of Ons Jabeur, many Tunisians and different Arabs and Africans are actually all in favour of tennis.”

Jabeur has all the time been within the sport. She’s now all in favour of changing into a Grand Slam champion — lastly.

“For me there’s one objective: I’m going for it,” Jabeur stated. “I’ll put together 100%. Hopefully I could make historical past not only for Tunisia, however for Africa.”

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Printed : 2023-07-14 18:47:39

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