Tunisian tennis star Ons Jaber (AFP)

Ons Jaber’s long-stated goal is that her historic feats on the court will lead more Arab women to play tennis – becoming the first Arab player to win a Grand Slam tournament in next month’s French Open final would be a miracle to achieve this.

The 27-year-old Tunisian became the first contender for the biggest prize in tennis on the ground, when on Saturday in Madrid she won in three sets over American Jessica Pegula.

At the same time exciting and very clear Jaber wrote another piece of the history of tennis.

Her 7-5, 0-6, 6-2 victory made her the first Arab or African woman to win a WTA 1000 title.

Her title in Birmingham last year was the first for an Arab player on the track, and she is the first Arab player – male or female – to hit the top 10.

Indeed, on Monday she will return to her previous top ranking of seven.

With 12 wins on tour on the ground this season – and with the release of the world’s first racket Ashley Barty from Australia – the signs for her look positive.

However, she has another glass ceiling that needs to be broken to reach the top four of the last Grand Slam tournaments – so she has two quarter-finals in Australia in 2020 and Wimbledon last year.

Jaber, the 2011 Roland Garros junior champion, is armed with powerful weapons in addition to his stroke game.

“Certainly, all these matches that I won on the ground will give me a lot of confidence,” she said, absorbing the victory in Madrid.

“If you’re confident and win a lot of matches, I think I should take this opportunity to go, for example, really go ahead and win.”

Jaber admits that she watched little tennis when she was growing up, and it was her husband Karim Komun, who was more “obsessed with Roland Garros”.

“Everything is due to her”

The commune was on hand in Madrid – he kissed her on the cheek after her triumph – as did her siblings and the head of the Tunisian Tennis Federation to see her significant victory.

Jaber welcomes such attention, but she would love to see more company in the locker room during the tour, as Arab players were a rarity. Her compatriot Selima Sfor in 2001 achieved the highest career mark of 75 points in the world, but other Arab players had little progress until Jaber appeared on the scene.

“Being the only Arab is not easy to tour now,” she said at Wimbledon last year.

“I just want to say that if I did it (succeeded in touring), it’s not impossible.

“As I said before, I always try to inspire other generations.”

Gill’s favorite player of all time is three-time Wimbledon finalist and 2003 US Open champion Andy Roddick, but four-time Moroccan Grand Slam quarterfinalist Hitchham Arazi was a role model.

Jaber said she was inspired by Arazi, so she hopes to be able to do the same for Arab women.

“Honestly, he really inspired me and I’m trying to do the same here,” she said.

“I like to see the French together (on tour), the Americans, the Australians, and I feel like I want to see it, you know, with my country.

“It doesn’t matter Tunisia, Egypt or Morocco, I really want to see more and more players.”

Even before her remarkable performance at Wimbledon last year, Jaber’s strength of personality and talent had already convinced others, including American legend Venus Williams, that she would achieve her goal.

“You’ll see a whole other generation of women from North Africa come to tennis,” Williams said.

“It will all be her duty.”

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