Just a few weeks after making a historic run to the third round at the French Open, Ons Jabeur has qualified for her first Wimbledon main draw thanks to an impressive victory over Asia Muhammad at Roehampton on Friday.
The 22-year-old Tunisian became the first Arab woman to reach the third round of a Grand Slam when she upset sixth-seeded Dominika Cibulkova at Roland Garros.
With her 6-4, 6-0 win over Muhammad in the final round of qualifying on Friday, Jabeur will become the first Arab woman to feature in a Wimbledon main draw since her compatriot Selima Sfar made the second round at the All England Club in 2005.
Jabeur had lost to Muhammad in Charleston qualifying a few months ago on clay, and had also lost in the final round of qualifying at two Slams this season, although she did make it into the Roland Garros main draw as a lucky loser.
The North African made sure she did not need to rely on luck this time around as she blasted through the qualifying draw in Roehampton without dropping a set.
“I played Asia before but I didn’t think about it much because it was on clay and today were on grass. I was more confident and I was relaxed. I tried to be focused during the whole match because I had lost a couple of qualifying third rounds at Grand Slams and this one I couldn’t miss it so I’m very happy with my performance,” Jabeur told Sport360.
“I think I played really good. I’m really happy to be in the main draw for the first time in Wimbledon. It’s been something I’ve been wanting for a long time and finally it happened. I think it happened in a good year, a year where I’m feeling confident and playing good tennis.
“So hopefully I will make a good impression at Wimbledon and go as far as I can, even better than the French Open.”
Jabeur will face No7 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova in the first round and the Russian two-time Grand Slam champion is quite familiar with the youngster’s game.
“I saw her play quite a bit. She plays a very different game, she mixes up the style, she feels the ball really well, she’s not a great mover… She hasn’t been doing so well but when she’s on, she’s really tough. She plays a very interesting game, different than other girls,” Kuznetsova had said of Jabeur after the Tunisian beat Cibulkova in Paris.