Ons Jabeur, of Tunisia, returns a shot to Paula Badosa, of Spain, at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, in Indian Wells, Calif. AP
Last week, the 27-year-old booked her ticket into the Top 10 with a convincing 7-5, 6-3 victory over Anett Kontaveit in the quarterfinals of the WTA Indian Wells, becoming the first Arab tennis player ever to reach the Top 10 of either the ATP or WTA rankings.
"It means a lot. I’m really happy," Jabeur said on Tennis Channel.
"That’s the goal that I set up from the beginning of the season. I said that I wanted to be in the Top 10.
"I honestly thought it was going to be very difficult — at the beginning I started to play well, but then ranking points weren't dropping from 2019, so it was kind of tough, and I was kind of like, ‘What can people do to get to the Top 20 or Top 10?’
"But then I got to Top 20 and then right away to the Top 10, and the only thing I’m going to say right now is I’m going to work harder to prove that I deserve this spot. There are a lot of things to improve. It’s not easy to be in the Top 10, and I want to stay there for as long as I can."
Ashleigh Barty of Australia cemented in the top of the ranking, Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus placed second, and Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic finished third.
The combined WTA and ATP Masters, which is usually held in March, returned this fall after a two-and-a-half-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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