Jabeur makes history as first African to make it to a Grand Slam final

Ons Jabeur will play for a Wimbledon title Saturday after defeating Tatjana Maria in the women's singles semifinals. She's the first African woman to make it that far in the professional era.

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July 7, 2022 - 2:17 PM

Ons Labeur Photo by Flickr

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Ons Jabeur’s steady progress from year to year — up the tennis rankings, through the draws of various tournaments and, now, at Wimbledon — has carried her to a Grand Slam singles final, the first African woman and Arab woman to make it that far in the professional era.

The No. 3-seeded Jabeur, a 27-year-old from Tunisia, got past her good friend Tatjana Maria 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 in an up-and-down semifinal at a sun-splashed Centre Court on Thursday.

“I want to go bigger, inspire many more generations. Tunisia is connected to the Arab world, is connected to the African continent. … I want to see more players from my country, from the Middle East, from Africa,” said Jabeur, who sat on her sideline chair and threw her head back after the biggest victory of her career. “We didn’t believe enough, at a certain point, that we can do it. Now I’m just trying to show (we can). Hopefully people are getting inspired.”

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