Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur will become the first Arab player to crack the top 10 of the tennis world rankings after she defeated Estonian Anett Kontaveit 7-5 6-3 in their Indian Wells quarter-final, the WTA confirmed on Thursday.
Jabeur, currently ranked 14th, reached the final of the Chicago Fall Tennis Classic earlier this month and became the first Arab player to win a WTA title at the Birmingham Classic in June.
The 27-year-old defeated Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit 7-5 6-3 in Thursday’s quarter-final in the California desert, converting five of her 12 break-point chances on the way to her 48th match win of the season, the most of any player on the Tour this season.
“Like this is a dream coming true. This is something that I’ve been wanting… when I was 16,” Jabeur said.
“Top 10 is the beginning. I know I deserve this place for a long time since I was playing well. But I want to prove that I deserve to be here.”
Jabeur, who will face Spain’s Paula Badosa in her first WTA 1000 semi-final on Friday, said she faced many obstacles in her career because of her background.
“I’ve been rejected by sponsors because of where I come from, which is so not fair,” she said. “I didn’t understand why before, I accepted it. I am really proud of the person I became today, just not relying on others.
“Everybody probably had a difficult career. I’m not saying I have the most difficult one.
“I didn’t want to depend on a sponsor or someone who doesn’t even care about tennis or sport in general. It gave me the courage to continue and achieve my goals, and I’m in top 10 today.”
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