Tunisian tennis player Ons Jabeur recently had the experience of playing doubles with America’s Serena Williams. After the Eastbourne International game, the WTA world number 2 player discussed the “unbelievable” day in a BBC Sport column, where she also revealed inviting Williams to her home country.
“Playing with Serena Williams in the doubles at Eastbourne last week was an unbelievable experience and one which gives me added confidence as I try my best to win my first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon,” wrote Jabeur. “If she sees me as a great player and looks at me in that way then I can see myself that way, too. I always had the dream of practicing or playing against Serena but I never imagined the fact I could play doubles with her and be on the same side of the court.” She continued, “I could not imagine being able to see first-hand how a legend – one of the GOATs (Greatest of All Time players) – reacts on court and talks to herself”.
Jabeur also said that William’s “mentality was so strong” and that the whole experience made her feel like the luckiest player in the world. Jabeur added that she had the opportunity to practice the game with Williams at the All England Club on Saturday and that she “was living the dream”, especially as Williams rarely practiced with other players besides the occasional ones with her sister, Venus Williams.
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The pair even coined a term for themselves after the doubles partnership called ‘Onsrena’. The Ksar Hellal-born went on to reveal that she has invited Williams to visit Tunisia. “One of the first things I did when we met up in Eastbourne was to invite her to Tunisia,” she said. “I told her she should come because she has never been to Tunisia. Maybe it won’t happen now but hopefully in a few years.” The coastal city of Sousse is where Jabeur plans on taking Williams: “It is on the beach, has incredible architecture and is just an amazing place.” She added that she would have to “prepare properly” to show Williams all the best sights in Tunisia and said they’d probably “need to have about 10,000 bodyguards” to calm the excitement.
Although the game was quite exciting for both the players, the doubles duo had to withdraw from the Eastbourne Tournament due to Jabeur’s knee injury to the right leg. Fans are wishing the player a speedy recovery and are hoping to see her back on the court soon.