Paris – With her country’s flag in hand, Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur leaped in joy at the Suzanne Lenglen stadium on Wednesday after she became the first Arab woman to advance to the third round of a tennis Grand Slam tournament.
Just a few days ago, she was preparing to pack her bags and leave the French capital Paris, but luck saw her progress to the first round of the tournament and now she is making history.
On Wednesday, the 114th seed defeated sixth seeded Dominika Cibulkova 6-4, 6-3 to make it to the third round.
Jabeur said: “I have no words to describe what I am feeling right now. This has been my dream for a long time.”
“When I win, I represent the Arab world. When I lose, I try to be just Ons Jabeur,” she added.
“We are a small country. The Arab world is like when you do something good, you’re from Tunisia, and from Morocco, other Arab country, they get interested in you.
“For me, it’s not only about Tunisia anymore, and it’s all about the Arab country, African continent. It’s amazing, because I feel like my country is getting bigger and bigger.”
Jabeur won the Girls’ Singles title at the 2011 French Open.
This year, the 22-year-old had only played two Grand Slam matches before the French Open began and only made it out qualifying as a “lucky loser” when another player withdrew.
She is set to play against Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky in the third round on Friday.