‘I’m Muslim’: Tunisian champion Ons Jabeur refuses champagne celebration, draws praise
Tunisian tennis champion Ons Jabeur has been hailed for refusing to raise a champagne bottle after winning the biggest title of her career at last week's Madrid Open.
Jabeur, the first Arab player in history to secure a top-10 professional ranking, beat American Jessica Pegula 7-5, 0-6, 6-2 in Saturday's final in Spain catapulting her to seventh worldwide.
Speaking to Egyptian media, Jabeur she refused the bottle “because I’m a Muslim and out of respect for my country and Arabs watching the event”.
"I work with a staff, most of whom are from Tunisia. We must believe in ourselves as Arabs, try to work, develop and trust in our abilities to reach the highest levels,” she told Sada Al Balad.
“I dream of winning a Grand Slam and being number one in the world," she added.
The 27 year old secured the biggest title of her career after a 2-hour back and forth with Pegula.
“After, I was like, ‘No matter what you do, just don’t lose your serve,” the Tunisian said at a press conference following the victory.
“There were tricky moments there. I felt like even my body language was much better the third set. I was trying to go more forward and be able to back her shots, because she was really playing good.”