Ons Jabeur and Kim Clijsters ‘were crying together in the locker room’ after Wimbledon final
Ons Jabeur had a shoulder to cry on after her latest devastating Grand Slam final defeat with the Tunisian saying she is taking inspiration from Kim Clijsters following her Wimbledon loss.
The world No 6 was the favourite to win Saturday’s women’s final on Centre Court, but Marketa Vondrousova produced an inspired performance as she won 6-4, 6-4 to become the first unseeded Wimbledon champion of the Open Era.
Despite playing in her third major final, Jabeur never got going and appeared to be overcome by the pressure while her unranked opponent thrived.
The defeat means she joined the likes of Clijsters, Chris Evert and Simona Halep on the list of players to lose their first three Grand Slam finals – although Clijsters is ahead of the others as she lost her first four major finals.
And it was the same Clijsters who consoled Jabeur after the final.
“We were crying together in the locker room (smiling),” the 28-year-old revealed.
We are going to make it one day. I promise ❤️ 🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/Up0pLT12HF
— Ons Jabeur (@Ons_Jabeur) July 15, 2023
She added: “I love Kim so much. She’s a great inspiration for me. I grew up watching her a bit. The fact that she takes the time to give me advice and to really hug me, always be there for me, I think it’s priceless.
“She was telling me all the time she lost four. That’s why I know the information, otherwise would have been tough.
“But, yeah, that’s the positive out of it. You cannot force things. It wasn’t meant to be. It wasn’t meant to be.”
Clijsters, of course, went on to win four Grand Slams following her first four finals defeats and she expressed sympathy towards Jabeur, who was looking to become the first African and Arab woman to win a major.
“We just sat in the locker room and at first hugged,” she told Stan Sport’s Grand Slam Daily
“It was a little bit of quiet time at first but then you just start sharing your experiences – and didn’t go too far into it, it’s just a matter of being there a little bit.
“Just kind of shared my experiences and how the emotions at times can be overwhelming.
“The annoying part is that you can’t go to the practice courts and work on those things. It’s not something you can imitate anywhere else.
“This is the only thing where what you can do is go out to these Grand Slams and try to put yourself in that situation where you play big matches.
“If you can get to another final then just do a few things differently. Things that worked for me might be different for her but she has to find the tools that she can use in the matches when she gets nervous when she gets a little bit tight and get that tension out of her body.”
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