Kim Clijsters’ advice to Ons Jabeur after latest devastating Wimbledon loss – ‘Fake it ’til you make it’
Ons Jabeur should not worry about the technical side of her game following her third Grand Slam final defeat, but instead focus on the mental aspect with Kim Clijsters saying she needs to show more self-belief even when she is nervous.
After beating two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova, defending champion Elena Rybakina and reigning Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka in three consecutive matches, Jabeur was the favourite to win the women’s title on Saturday.
Not too many pundits expected the unseeded Marketa Vondrousova, who was ranked No 42 before the tournament, to reach the final, let alone win the title yet the Czech dominated the final as she won 6-4, 6-4 to lift her maiden Grand Slam trophy.
It means Jabeur’s wait for her first major continues as she also lost last year’s Wimbledon final against Rybakina and the US Open final against Iga Swiatek in September.
Former world No 1 Clijsters also has experience of being a bridesmaid in majors as she lost her first four Grand Slam finals before winning the next four.
The Belgian had some sage tips for Jabeur after the defeat.
“I think it’s really not necessary to start looking into the technical things that went wrong,” Clijsters told Stan Sport’s Grand Slam Daily.
“I think it all starts with the confidence that you walk out on court with. Even in the locker room already, you could kind of see there was a lot of tension. I saw her quickly. She grabbed my hand. She said ‘Please take the stress out of me!’
“You could feel that already because it was so different from every other match that she’s played where she is excited, she’s focused but she’s joking around a little bit.
“I can relate very well and it’s a very frustrating, annoying feeling. It’s not the loss that is the most frustrating feeling but the fact you weren’t able to play your best tennis, that you didn’t get beat by playing a good match and it’s unfortunate.
“She’s played some incredible tennis, the quarter-finals and the semis, beat some players that were the favourite over here. In that match, in the final, she’s supposed to be the favourite, she just comes up a little bit short.
“You don’t have to worry about the technical game in a match like this, it’s about confidence. Sometimes fake it ’til you make it.
“I think that’s the message she needs to take away from this is; don’t just show your opponent that you’re not feeling good, don’t drop your shoulders, don’t show negative body language. Even if you’re not playing great, you can still kind of make you believe and try to just show some positive body language.
“Maybe in the next match if she puts herself in that situation again, try to do a little bit more of that when you feel that you’re really nervous.”
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