‘It’s been tough’ – Clay elation for Ons Jabeur as she masters Madrid to join WTA elite
Ons Jabeur has won a maiden WTA 1000 title as she became the first Arab woman to lift such a high level trophy.
The 27-year-old had already made history by becoming the first Arab woman to reach a WTA 1000 final.
But she went one step further by downing Jessica Pegula of the US 7-5, 0-6, 6-2 to triumph in the Spanish capital.
With world number one Iga Swiatek absent from the event, this is the first WTA 1000 title of 2022 not to have been claimed by the Pole after she won Doha, Indian Wells and Miami before Madrid.
She said addressing her team ahead of accepting her trophy: “We lost a lot of finals but today I’m happy I pulled the win.
“It was very tough, especially last time in Charleston.
“Thank you for always believing in me and pushing me forward.
“And I’m thankful for my family who came here to support me today.”
Jabeur had previously lost her last two WTA finals in Charleston last month and Chicago last year.
In fact, this Madrid crown is only her second at tour level and first on clay after winning the Birmingham Classic back in June on the grass of Edgbaston Priory Club.
As a result of her run in the Spanish capital the Tunisian talent will return to her career-high ranking of world number seven.
The confidence of Jabeur will surely make her a serious threat as the WTA tour rolls on through the clay towards the second Slam of the year at Roland Garros.
Next up she will play another WTA 1000 event at the Italian Open where she is seeded ninth, just outside the range of receiving a first round bye.
There she occupies the same quarter of the draw as Madrid semi-final opponent Ekaterina Alexandrova, whom she despatched 6-2, 6-3 to set her championship showdown with Pegula.
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