“Most Hugged Player”: Andy Roddick and Judy Murray Pick Ons Jabeur as Their Favorite

Published 10/18/2021, 11:41 PM EDT
Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 2, 2021 Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur reacts during her third round match against Spain’s Garbine Muguruza REUTERS/Peter Nicholls


Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur is now the first-ever Arab tennis professional to break into the Top 10 in World Rankings, landing on the WTA World No.8 spot. Naturally, congratulations came flowing in from all ends, following her historic breakthrough. Among others, former World No.1 Andy Roddick and Andy Murray’s mother and tennis coach Judy Murray named Jabeur as one of their favorites to watch.

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For the past two years, Jabeur has been consistently rising on the WTA Tour. However, she got her breakthrough in the 2021 season, winning her first WTA title in Birmingham and reaching two finals in Charleston and Chicago. Interestingly, the 27-year-old has registered an incredible 48-18 win-loss record on the Tour so far.

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Andy Roddick and Judy Murray praise Ons Jabeur

Some players see the tennis court as a battlefield, whereas some see it as a stage to put on a show and display their charm. Notably, the Tunisian star has been winning hearts with her variety of shots, her swift movement around the court, and her warm personality off the court.

Hence, there is no doubt on why Andy Roddick enjoys watching her play. He said, “Ons Jabeur is quickly becoming one of my favorites in the world to watch, she’s just amazing and maybe the most hugged player on tour; every single time she shakes a hand, people hug her, she must be an amazing person too.”

Oct 9, 2021; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Ons Jabeur (TUN) hits a shot against Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) at Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Furthermore, three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray‘s mother, Judy Murray, agreed with Roddick. She said, “One of my favorites too. For a long time. An entertainer!!”

Most recently, Jabeur ended her Indian Wells run in the semifinals, losing to eventual champion and good friend Paula Badosa. 

What’s next for Jabeur on the WTA Tour?

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Interestingly, Jabeur stands in the ninth position in the WTA Finals Race. Notably, if World No.1 Ashleigh Barty doesn’t play, she might compete in her first year-ending championship.

Tennis – WTA 250 – Birmingham Classic – Edgbaston Priory Club, Edgbaston, Birmingham, Britain – June 20, 2021 Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur celebrates winning her final match against Russia’s Daria Kasatkina Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs

Besides, the Tunisian star is in the near distance with the Top 8 in the Race. Hence, one or two good tournaments now will help her qualify on merit.

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All in all, Jabeur is turning into a fan favorite with all eyes glued to her at every tournament. Hopefully, she will continue chasing newer goals and become the example for her country as she aspires to be. 

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Purav Joshi

1349 articles

Purav Joshi is a Senior Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 1000 tennis articles.

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