Ons Jabeur makes startling fitness confession ahead of Dubai Tennis Championships

Ons Jabeur
Ons Jabeur of Tunisia reacts after losing a point.

In the lead-up to the Dubai Tennis Championships, Ons Jabeur has been candid about fitness issues.

The 2024 season got off to a terrible start for Jabeur.

Teenager Mirra Andreeva, defeated her in the second round of the Australian Open.

Then Beatriz Haddad Maia defeated her in the quarterfinals of the Abu Dhabi Open, while Jabeur also lost her opening match against Lesia Tsurenko in the Qatar Open.

Jabeur admitted to feeling pressure to turn up at events in the Middle East swing.

Jabeur has blamed a persistent knee issue for her difficulties this season.

The Tunisian brought up the topic once more in a recent interview, when she candidly described the challenges of training for and competing in competitions while experiencing pain.

“I think it’s the worst decision you can take because my heart wants to play and my body is not allowing so much,” she told The National.

Jabeur admitted to battling through her preparations for next week’s Dubai Tennis Championships, where she is the No 5 seed.

Following her departure from Abu Dhabi, Jabeur was questioned over the cause of her tears during the Haddad Maia match.

“I honestly don’t think about it too much. I’m an open book, an emotional person. I like to show myself,” Jabeur told the reporters.

“One thing I have learned is to accept the emotion, and if I try to hide it, it will not make me feel good.”

Commentators Anne Keothavong and Mikey Perera had remarked that Jabeur appeared to be struggling with some sort of issue.

We did suspect something was up. No idea what though,” Keothavong said.

Perera noted that something seemed off about Jabeur but that she wasn’t really that far away from her normal game.

“Well, we did sort of think that she wasn’t looking entirely dialed in this encounter, but I didn’t think it was anything too serious but clearly might be a problem here for Ons Jabeur.”

As one of the top eight seeds in Dubai, Jabeur will enjoy a bye into the Round of 32.

Jabeur will face the winner of the first round match between Australian Storm Hunter and Russia’s Anna Kalinskaya in her tournament opener for the Dubai Tennis Championships.

She is eager to perform well in Dubai after the horror run she has endured.

Jabeur hopes to inspire a new generation of arab women to take up te sport.

“It’s always amazing to come here,” said Jabeur at the draw for the 2024 Dubai Tennis Championships.

“Dubai is my home so I’m excited to start the season very well here.

“The most important thing is of course to be healthy, so I want to win more matches and achieve more.

“I’m very fortunate to play here in Dubai and so many tournaments in other Arab countries and it has really helped me become the player I am today.

“It is my dream to see more women from this region play tennis and reach a high level.”

READ MORE: Emma Raducanu reveals Ons Jabeur’s kind gesture ahead of their first-ever meeting