‘Heart-broken’ Tunisian Ons Jabeur to miss Doha and Dubai tennis tournaments - GulfToday

‘Heart-broken’ Tunisian Ons Jabeur to miss Doha and Dubai tennis tournaments

Ons Jabeur

Ons Jabeur gestures during a match. File

World number three Ons Jabeur said on Wednesday she was “heart broken” after announcing she will miss tournaments in Doha and Dubai later this month to undergo minor surgery.

Tunisian tennis star Jabeur, 28, was runner up at last year’s Wimbledon and US Open but dropped down from second in the world rankings in February.

“To take care of my health situation. My medical team have decided that I need to get a minor surgery in order to be able to be back on the courts and perform well,” Jabeur said on social media. “I will have to retire from Doha and Dubai and this is breaking my heart. I would like to say sorry to all the fans out there in the Middle East that waited for this reunion. I promise I will come back to you stronger and healthy,” she added.

The two-time Grand Slam finalist Jabeur has electrified crowds in Doha and Dubai as she has risen up the rankings over the past few seasons.

The Middle East swing comprised the closest the Tunisian had to home tournaments before last year’s inaugural Jasmin Open in Monastir. Jabeur has reached the quarter-finals in Doha twice (2020 and 2022) and in Dubai once (2022).

During this year’s Australian Open, where she fell in the second round to Marketa Vondrousova, Jabeur spoke about the need to manage an ongoing knee injury.

“It’s not a big injury, but sometimes it might bother me,” she told press after her first-round defeat of Tamara Zidansek. “I try to take it one day at a time. It’s a great challenge, you know.”

The WTA event in Qatar starts on February 13 with the Dubai tournament six days later.

Jabeur missed last year’s Australian Open with a back injury and she appeared affected by a similar issue during the Adelaide International.

Late bloomer Jabeur was 26 when she lifted her maiden WTA title in 2021 at Birmingham, adding Madrid and Berlin trophies last year. She is keen to make up for lost time.

Jabeur, who was born in Tunisia, started playing at the age of three. In 2017, she broke into the world’s top 100.

Jabeur’s success is attracting more people to the sport. According to the Women’s Tennis Association, membership in the Tunisian Tennis Federation has grown and the number of young Tunisians showing interest in the sport has climbed with Jabeur’s success.

Media at a 2022 US Open press conference asked about her ability to inspire young girls to play tennis. Jabeur smiled.

“I hope I can send a powerful message that if I made it here, everybody can make it here. Especially for women from different countries, especially from women from the Middle East, from the Arab world,” said Jabeur, who has been dubbed by Tunisians “The Minister of Happiness,” told media.

“Seeing how the Arab region is growing and evolving makes me really happy. Hopefully this could show the new generation how everything is possible and could introduce them more to tennis and give them more opportunities. It’s really inspiring for me to witness and to be part of,” she sain tennis star


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