Last Updated on June 3, 2022
Recently, she won the Madrid Masters 1000 tournament. It is also the first time that an African player obtains a title of that category
The tennis player Ons Jabeur is committed to making history. Weeks ago, she won her first WTA 1000 title in Madrid. At the final of that tournament, she defeated Jessica Pegula by 7-5, 0-6, 6-2. She’s the first Arab woman to win a Masters 1000. Currently, she is ranked in a top ten position at the WTA ranking; more specifically, in 7th place. To date, she has won two tournaments.
“Getting here is something I’ve always wanted, even before I was 16 years old. I’ve always wanted to be here and I’ve always wanted to be number 1 in the world. I know the Top 10 is just the beginning. I know that I have deserved this place for quite some time, because I have been playing very well”, Jabeur said after becoming a top-ten player.
Jabeur was born on August 28th, 1994 in Ksar Hellal, a small town in Tunisia. She grew up in Susa with her parents, her two older brothers and her sister. She started playing tennis at the age of three, accompanied by her mother, who’s a huge tennis fan.
At ten years old, she didn’t have a tennis court where to play, so she started training at the nearby hotels. When she was 14, she was selected by the Tunissian Academy. She defines herself as a 100% tunisian product. “I’ve received plenty of offers from EU universities, but I never considered them an option”, she said, because her mother wanted her to finish high school, and only then focus on tennis.
Her style as a player consists in leveraging different types of strokes, a good forehand and a solid backhand. She’s characterized by the use of slice and drop shots in particular.
Ons Jabeur current coach is Issam Jellali
Jabeur’s current coach, Issam Jellali, works with her as the principal coach since the beginning of 2020. However, they’ve known each other for quite a few years.
Born in Tunisia in 1981 (he is the same age as Roger Federer), he didn’t have a remarkable career as an ATP player. Nevertheless, he won one future title as a double tennis player. He played for Tunisia in the Davis Cup. That’s it. He was a typical hard-working tennis player. He coached and played on the ITF and challenger circuit for more than 15 years.
In any case, Jellali started becoming successful when his athletic career came to an end. He now owns and presides a tennis academy in Dubai. He also coached a few top-100 ATP players such as Malek Jaziri and Damir Dzumhur. However, he’s more well known for his work with Jabeur. According to the Global Professional Tennis Coach Association, he’s an A-star-level coach. He likes playing and watching football. He speaks English, French and Arab.
Since he coached Jabeur, she won her only two titles, she reached four WTA tournament finals, and for the first time, she reached the quarter finals in Australian Open 2020 and Wimbledon 2021.
The rest of the team
Her team is also integrated by Jabeur’s husband since 2015, fitness coach Karim Kammoun, and her psychologist Melanie Maillard. About being trained by her husband, she said in dialogue with the official website of the WTA: “I feel very comfortable with my coach Issam and very comfortable with Kareem, even though they have criticized us because he is my husband. Honestly, feelings aside, I don’t care if he’s my husband or not. If he’s one day not improving on me, then we’re going to have a talk and see what happens. For now, we are doing much better. I think I am the only player who played three matches yesterday and won three matches. So physically speaking, I’m good enough”.
Maillard talked about her pupil’s progress in an interview with sport magazine The National News: “Now she believes more in herself. She was a bit shy, but now she wants to share more things. She is what I call an open-hearted player. She had to face some fears she had, once she understood them she was able to love herself more. That was a big task, and to make her love the job too, to listen to everything she had to say. She didn’t know she could say everything she had to say.”
Past coaches of Jabeur before Jellali
Bertrand Perret: He was her trainer from February 2018 to early 2020. They split because he started training Caroline Garcia. Before Jabeur, he coached Paul Henri Mathieu, Renata Zarazua, Shuai Peng and German Tatjana Maria. He led Mathieu to the final in Palerme and semifinal in Kremlin Cup. He coached Peng Shuai to win Nanchan, finals of Taipei, winning doubles in Shenzhen, and advancing to the finals of both Australian Open and Miami. With him, Ons won the Arab Woman of the Year Award in 2019. Jabeur best achievement in a Grand Slam with Perret was to reach the 3rd. round at the US Open 2019. She also reached the Moscow final, where she defeated Daria Kasátkina by 6-2, 6-7(3) and 4-6. She went from 110th to 45th place.
Nicolas Beuque: he trained Jabeur in 2015. They split because he started to coach another player. After coaching the Arab, he trained Yanina Wickmayer, Jeremy Chardy and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. With him, Ons reached, for the first time, the main draw of the Australian Open.
Nabil Mlika: he was her trainer from 4 to 13 years old. They separated themselves because he was a junior trainer. He coaches young players at the Hammam Sousse tennis club in the Mediterranean port city of Sousse. In an interview with AFP, he said that “Ons had an exceptional technical gift. She had fire inside her. She wouldn’t stop moving,” explains Nabil Mlika, who also said that because of her characteristics, she could also have played other sports: “She had physical abilities and great ease with the ball, to the point that some coaches wanted her to practice handball,” says Mlika. “She thought about it, but decided to continue with tennis.” He also revealed how confident she was: “Several times she told her mother: ‘One day I will get you a coffee at Roland Garros’”. She already did it.
Ons Jabeur’s achievements with different coaches
We have collected in the table the data about the trophies won by Ons Jabeur under the guidance of various coaches.
|Coach||Years of Cooperation||Titles|
|Issam Jellali||2020-Present||Birmingham 2021, Madrid, 2022|