Ons Jabeur on her ‘roller-coaster of emotions’ at Madrid Open: ‘I cannot describe how I feel’

Ons Jabeur celebrations

First Arab player to win a WTA 1000 title? Check. First African player to win a WTA 1000 title? Check. It has been another week roller-coaster Ons Jabeur en route to lifting the Madrid Open.

Last year Jabeur became the first Arab player – man or woman – to reach the top 10 while she also won her maiden title at the Birmingham Classic.

She came close to adding to her singles titles tally earlier in 2022 as she reached the Charleston and Stuttgart finals, but came up short.

The Tunisian must’ve thought “here we go again” in the Madrid Open final on Saturday after a nightmare second set against Jessica Pegula, but she bounced back brilliantly to win 7-5, 0-6, 6-2.

Jabeur, who beat former world No 1 Simona Halep in the quarter-final and Ekaterina Alexandrova in the last four, admits it still hasn’t all sunk in yet.

“I honestly still can’t believe it. I went through a roller-coaster of emotions during the past few days, just after the semi-final. I was really stressed trying to breathe,” she said.

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

She added: “I’m so happy that I didn’t wait long [for the title], because I was really disappointed after Charleston and Stuttgart.

“I was really close and I know I was playing really good there. But I have been doing a lot of hard work to see that it’s paying off. I cannot describe how I feel right now.”