Wimbledon: Ons Jabeur shows class with touching gesture for Tatjana Maria

Ons Jabeur and Tatjana Maria

Ons Jabeur showed her class with a touching gesture after her semi-final victory at Wimbledon.

The world number two was made to battle against her good friend Tatjana Maria, eventually triumphing 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.

The pair shared a heartwarming embrace at the end of the three-set thriller, before Jabeur ensured Maria got the appreciation she deserved from the Wimbledon crowd.

Jabeur pulled her friend into the centre of the court as she was about to leave, gesturing at her as the crowd gave her an enthusiastic round of applause.

The 34-year-old Maria defied all the odds to reach the semi-finals at Wimbledon, beating Sorana Cîrstea, Maria Sakkari and Jelena Ostapenko along the way.

This time last year, she was on maternity leave, having given birth to her second child in April 2021.

Maria, who turned professional in 2001, achieved a career-high ranking of 46th back in November 2017. Despite playing at 46 Grand Slams, she had only reached the second round once.

“Tatjana deserves a lot of respect,” said Jabeur. “The way she plays, the way she fights. If I didn’t see her two kids, I would say she never had them.

“It’s really inspiring for a lot of women. I have a lot of respect for her. If she won today, she would have deserved it 100 percent.

“After all, it’s just a tennis match. We didn’t go to war or anything. It was amazing, great.”

Ons Jabeur and Tatjana Maria

The 27-year-old Jabeur, who put on a show during the semi-final, became the first Tunisian, Arab or African woman to reach a Grand Slam final in the Open Era.

“I want to see more players from my country, from the Middle East, from Africa,” she said. “I think we didn’t believe enough at certain point that we can do it. Now I’m just trying to show that. Hopefully people are getting inspired.”

Jabeur will play Elena Rybakina, who is also contesting her first Grand Slam final. The star from Kazakhstan stunned Simona Halep 6-3, 6-3 in their semi-final encounter.

The women’s final at Wimbledon is scheduled to take place on Saturday July 7th at 2pm.

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