Ons Jabeur makes history with Madrid Open win

Ons Jabeur became Saturday the first Arab tennis player to win the Madrid Masters tournament, making history on the international tennis courts.

Jabeur, 27, competed in this week’s Madrid Open against US player Jessica Pegula. She won the match and the tournament, making it the second title of Jabeur’s career after winning the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) title in Birmingham, UK last year.

Jabeur said after the match in Spain, “I’m not just playing for myself… I am playing for my country, for the Arab world, for the African continent.”

She added: “Honestly, I still can’t believe it. I went through a roller coaster of emotions in the last few days, right after the semi-final. I was really stressed, trying to breathe.

“I really didn’t want to be disappointed again. I thought my heart was going to come out of my chest today. I’m very happy and I’m trying to realize that I won today, really.”

When Ons Jabeur reached  the quarter-finals of 2020 Australian Open, she revealed in her interview with the Australian third channel, that she dedicated her victory as a free woman to the soul of leader Habib Bourguiba, who remains a beacon of light to Tunisians.

Firstly, thank you Ons for your great victory, which came after years of work and disappointments and at a time, some people thought that you would not achieve a similar win, by reaching the quarter-finals of 2020 Australian Open and becoming the first Arab women tennis player in history.

Thank you for your honest recognition- as you belong to a young generation- to the great leader who loved and served his country with dedication and sincerity as a president who ruled Tunisia for decades or as a leader over the long difficult path of national resistance against the French colonialism.

Thank you again to be different and unbiased than other citizens who are involved by some politicians known by their hate and distortion speech against former president Habib Bourguiba as well as by their harsh positions on his reign through their baseless allegations, focusing only on some weak selected details and mistakes instead of dealing with the cons and pros of the Bourguiba legacy in general.

Thank you Ons…you taught us that our differences did not refute the fact that Bourguiba remains a shining model for a real statesman, who devoted his entire life to serve all Tunisians and to improve the country’s position on the world stage.

Such recognition from a young famous tennis player who did not live the Bourguiba ruling era obviously strengthens reconciliation with our history shaped by the prominent leader and his companions during the national struggle or during the building of the national state.

Besides, all prominent leaders deserve respect from all generations because what they did, must not be denied or denigrated whatever the disagreement with them. Needless to say incorrect things with inappropriate judgments on historical personalities like the Zaim, and only historians’ judgments will prevail.

Ultimately, we are really proud of you Ons Jabeur and for your remarkable option to dedicate your victory to a leader who marked Tunisia’s history despite some attempts to distort his wonderful legacy.

TunisianMonitorOnline (Ben Rhouma Chedly)

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