The Tunisian teenager Ons Jabeur will become the first Arab tennis player to break into the top 10 when she makes her world tour debut at the Russian Open in Moscow this weekend.
The 21-year-old, a wildcard entry in Moscow, will enter the top 10 for the first time this week, displacing France’s Caroline Garcia. The Tunisian won her last match in Tokyo in September, beating American Madison Keys in the third round, the first time that a Tunisian woman has reached the last 16 of a tournament. Jabeur has an 18-13 record for the season.
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“The past few years have been really good for me. Things are clicking in the right direction,” Jabeur told Tennis Magazine. “It was a new situation for me, coming from Tunisia, from a small country, so for me, it’s a dream to be here. It’s not an easy thing but I’m happy that everything is working out. It’s about focusing and controlling your results. My game is good, especially now, and when you play, you try to play that way, you go into the draw with a lot of confidence.”
Jabeur, who reached a career-high ranking of 122 in April, beat Maria Sharapova, then ranked No2, at the Washington Open this year in her first career win over a top-10 player. She was able to avoid the back injury that forced Sharapova out of her first-round match at the Australian Open and has beaten three top-20 players since, including the big-serving Serb Novak Djokovic.