Ons Jabeur Reacts to Squid Game Meme Depicting WTA Finals’ Last Spot Battle

Published 10/28/2021, 12:39 AM EDT


The Race to WTA Finals has been neck-to-neck throughout the 2021 season. And now, Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur and Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit are on each other’s toes for the last remaining spot. Funnily enough, a Squid Game inspired meme about their battle has become viral, and Jabeur has responded to it. So is she ready for the challenge?

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Notably, Jabeur and Kontaveit were going to compete in Courmayeur and Cluj before the Finals, respectively. But later on, the 27-year-old Tunisian star announced her withdrawal from the tournament due to an elbow injury. As a result, the Estonian professional is now the only active contender in the Race to WTA Finals. Even then, her qualification scenario remains very difficult. 

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Simply put, Kontaveit must reach the WTA Transylvania Open final to qualify for the WTA Finals. Hence, anything less than the runner-up will give Jabeur a ticket to Guadalajara. So far, the 25-year-old Estonian has cleared the first round and is into the last 16. 

Ons Jabeur reacts to Squid Game meme about her and Anett Kontaveit’s WTA Finals’ battle

Interestingly, Anett Kontaveit executed a complete turnaround in the second half of the 2021 season. She has even attained three WTA titles in the past 60 days. Consequently, the Estonian made a massive leap in the race and now stands 139 rankings points behind Ons Jabeur. 

Tennis – WTA Premier – VTB Kremlin Cup – Moscow, Russia – October 24, 2021 Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit celebrates with the trophy after winning her final match against Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina

Likewise, the Squid Game inspired meme showed that Jabeur is the last challenge for Kontaveit. In response, the Tunisian professional burst out in laughter, stating, “I can’t”. The meme accurately depicted the current scenario of the WTA Finals Race.

Jabeur has played incredibly throughout the 2021 season. She even became the first-ever Arab tennis player to break into the Top 10 rankings in the sport. Hence, she is in a better spot for qualification despite not playing in Courmayeur. 

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

But besides the tight battle, both Jabeur and Kontaveit share a friendly relationship. Before the meme, they even participated in hilarious remarks on Instagram about their ongoing clash.

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How do tennis players qualify for the WTA Finals?

The WTA Finals is the most prestigious tennis tournament after the Grand Slams. But given its unique qualification scenario, it is arguably an even more challenging and impressive tournament.

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What’s more interesting, only the best eight players of the season get to compete in this season-ending finale. By best players, it means the athletes with the most earned points in a single calendar year. Indeed, the qualification is based purely on merit and not the rankings.

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Conclusively, Jabeur and Kontaveit would want to end their season well by qualifying for Guadalajara, Mexico. Let’s see who gets the final spot. Any guesses?

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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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