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Samira Jabeur: 100% Product of Tunisia

posted on: Oct 18, 2023

By: Menal Elmaliki / Arab America Contributing Writer

“I always dreamed I could be one of the best players in the world.”
—Ons Jabeur

Samira Jabeur is a Tunisian tennis player who recently made headlines. She’s been setting a trail of glory and refers to herself as a 100% product of Tunisia. She believes “It’s Important That Arabs Show Each Other That We Can Make It.”

“Jabeur became the first Arab and African woman to make a Grand Slam tennis final last year when she reached the Wimbledon final. She has become something of a national hero in Tunisia, a notable feat for a female athlete in a country where men’s soccer is the most popular sport.”

Samira was born August 28th, 1994, in a small town, Ksar Hellal Tunisia, but grew up in the nearby coastal town of Soussee. She began playing tennis at the age of three and trained for ten years from age 4 to 13 under the coach Nabil Mlika. As a child she had to overcome many obstacles/ challenges, tennis wasn’t a very popular sport in Tunisia, hence her club didn’t have their own tennis courts so she was forced to play/ train on the courts at nearby hotels.

At the age of 12, she moved to the capital city, Tunis, where she trained/ continued her training at the Lycée Sportif El Menzah, a national sport high school, for several years to come. Lycée Sportif El Menzah was known for housing/ training Tunisia’s up and coming athletes. At the age of 16, she continued her training in Belgium and France. By 2007, at the age of 13, she began playing on the ITF Junior Circuit. She soon won the Grade 5 Al Fatah ITF Junior Tournament in Lebanon and the Grade 5 singles event at the Fujairah ITF Junior Tennis Championships in the UAE in 2009.

She made her junior grand Slam debut at the 2009 US Open, and by 2010 she made her debut in the French Open. The final events of Jabbeur’s junior career was the 2011 French Open and the 2011 Wimbledon Championships. She made history at the 2011 French Open, she earned the title of the first North African/ Arab woman to win a Junior Grand Slam tournament.

Jabeur at the US Open in 2009.

She praises her parents always for her success, if it wasn’t for their sacrifices and encouragement she wouldn’t be where she is today. She states,

“My parents sacrificed a lot of things – my mom used to drive me everywhere around Tunisia to go play the tournaments, and she encouraged me to go to a special school to study. That was a big sacrifice to see her little girl going for a dream that, honestly, wasn’t 100% guaranteed. She believed in me and gave me the confidence to be there.”

Left: Ons Jabeur as a child. Right: Ons Jabeur with her mom.

“I especially hope Tunisian and Arab girls can be inspired by my story and my success.”
—Ons Jabeur

Jabeur is proud to represent her people want wants to influence more girls in her home country to play tennis especially in a country where soccer and basketball are the primary sports.

She began her professional career in 2018, and by 2019, she was named Arab Woman of the Year in Sports.

After winning the “Arab Women of the year award, given by the London Arabia organization,” she stated,


Ons Jabeur and her husband Karim Kamoun. They had gotten married in 2015.

After earning her Ranking, no. 11 in the world by the WTA ( Women’s tennis association).

She was runner up in juniors at the Roland- Garros in 2010 but it wasn’t until the following year wwould she become the firsr adrican winner/ “champion” in 55 years. This has become a hsitroical moment for not only Africa but Tunisia. 

Samira had gone from novice to professional, starting off her “professional career” in Doha, Qatar in 2012. She had won her first WTA Tour match in 2014 and in 2020 she played at the Australian Open.  An historical moment for Tunisia as she became the 1st Arab player in history to reach last/ final 8. She had then gone on to “reach the quarter finals at Wimbledon, beating Venus Willians, Garbine Muguruzza and Iga Swaitek.’

She brings pride to her country. Here are her fans cheering her on August 13 at the Women’s Singles third-round match between her and Bianca Andreescu at the National Bank Open presented by Rogers at IGA Stadium in Montreal.

She achieved the rank No. 7 by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) on 1 November 2021. Jabeur earned the No. 1 African player rank/ spot and she is currently the highest ranked Arab/ Amazigh tennis player in WTA rankings history.

Jabeur shakes the hand of Venus Williams after defeating her on day three of Wimbledon last June. Williams’s sister and former No. 1-ranked Serena Williams expressed her support for Jabeur’s success on and off the court, where Jabeur is an increasingly popular role model worldwide. 

”At the 2020 Australian Open, she became the first Arab woman to reach the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam tournament, which she once again achieved at the 2021 Wimbledon Championships. Jabeur won her first WTA title at the 2021 Birmingham Classic by defeating Daria Kasatkina, thus becoming the first ever Amazigh/Arab and Tunisian female tennis player to win a WTA title.[1]

Jabeur wins the 2021 Birmingham Classic.

She won the 2021 Mubadala World Tennis Championship tournament. Jabeur, out of her uniform, and into the fashion scene was was recently on the cover of سيدتي.نت, magazine.

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