“Rejected by Sponsors”: Ons Jabeur Shares Her Struggle Story After Scripting History at Indian Wells 2021

Published 10/15/2021, 3:52 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


Out of all the tennis stories that are being scripted everyday, the rise of Tunisian tennis star Ons Jabeur is probably the most inspiring one.

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Having fought extremely hard right from her childhood to get a chance to play on a tennis court, Jabeur has managed to reach two grand slam quarter-finals and became the first Arab player to grab a spot inside the top-10 in ATP or WTA singles rankings.

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Jabeur is enjoying a phenomenal run this year on the WTA tour. The Tunisian ended last year with a career-high ranking of 31 and will be seeded inside the top-10 after Indian Wells gets over.

Ons Jabeur talks about initial career challenges after reaching top-10 for the first time

At the BNP Paribas Open, Jabeur defeated the likes of Anastasija Sevastova, Danielle Collins, and Anett Kontaveit to reach the semi-finals. Despite the stardom, Jabeur remembers her humble beginnings and shared a few experiences of trying to make it to the top.

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

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It is much different to come from my country than being American or French or Australian, you know. They have not just the example of seeing players playing in front of you, or more tennis clubs, or even more tournaments, let’s say. But, I’ve been rejected by sponsors because of where I come from,” Jabeur said.

Even though the rise has been steady for Jabeur since last year, it was her victories against the likes of Iga Swiatek and Garbine Muguruza at Wimbledon Championships that gave huge momentum and confidence for the Tunisian to script history.

“Really proud of the person I became today” – Jabeur

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Jabeur continued to talk about how she faced rejections from sponsors and worked on her game to become a better player.

Aug 12, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Ons Jabeur of Tunisia hits a shot against Bianca Andreescu of Canada (not pictured) during third round play at Stade IGA. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

I’m really proud of the person I became today. Just not relying on others, you know. Everybody had like a, probably difficult career. I didn’t want to depend on the sponsor or someone who doesn’t even care about tennis or doesn’t even care about sport in general”, the Tunisian continued.

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A victory at the BNP Paribas Open will be an incredible achievement for Jabeur. For that to happen, the current world no.14 will have to defeat Spain’s Paula Badosa in the semis. Ons Jabeur will have the upper hand going into the match as she defeated the Spaniard at Miami earlier this year.

DIVE DEEPER

“Hope She Eats a Lot of Burgers”: Paula Badosa and Ons Jabeur Pull Each Other’s Leg Before Indian Wells Battle

about 1 month ago

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Sagar Ashtakoula

567 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Sagar has completed his graduation in Electronics and Communication Engineering.

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